© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1977.4
People
Jan Brueghel the Elder, Flemish (Brussels, Belgium 1568 - 1625 Antwerp, Belgium)
After Pieter Bruegel, the Elder, Netherlandish (Breda (?), Belgium 1526/30 - 1569 Brussels, Belgium)
Title
Mountainous Landscape with Exotic Animals
Classification
Drawings
Work Type
drawing
Date
16th-17th century
Culture
Flemish
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Brown ink, black chalk and white opaque watercolor on off-white antique laid paper, partial framing line in brown ink, possibly autograph
Dimensions
irregular: 33.5 x 23.1 cm (13 3/16 x 9 1/8 in.)
mount: 36.3 x 26.3 cm (14 5/16 x 10 3/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: lower left, brown ink [very likely same as drawing]: uegel inven 1554
  • watermark: none
  • inscription: mount, lower right, graphite: 191
Provenance
[Sotheby’s, London, 11 March 1964, lot 194]; to [Schaeffer Galleries, New York.] Private collection, United States (probably R. W. Hompe, Villanova, Pennsylvania). [Schaeffer Galleries, New York], sold; to Harvard University Art Museums, 1977; Gifts for Special Uses Fund, 1977.4
Published Text
Catalogue
Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums
Authors
William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson
Publisher
Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016)

Catalogue entry no. 16 by William W. Robinson:

The second son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1999.132), Jan Brueghel the Elder was an astonishingly productive artist who served as court painter to Archduke Albert and Archduchess Isabella Clara Eugenia in Brussels. He specialized in floral still lifes and various types of landscapes, including mountainous panoramas, forest interiors, villages, country roads, river views, seascapes, hunting pieces, battles, and images of hell and the underworld. Many of his works contain numerous small figures enacting biblical, mythological, and allegorical subjects, as well as scenes of daily life.

Mountainous Landscape with Exotic Animals belongs to a group of drawings of forest interiors in a vertical format, which includes two autograph works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and several copies and variants after those originals and related compositions by him that have not survived.1 Two of the variants—the Harvard work and Wooded Landscape with a Family of Bears, Deer, and Other Wild Animals (Fig. 1)—are attributable to Jan Brueghel.2 Inscriptions in the same handwriting on both sheets identify the elder Bruegel as author of the design and record its date, 1554. The annotation on Wooded Landscape with a Family of Bears, Deer, and Other Wild Animals, a composition freely adapted from one of the Bruegel originals that have survived, adds that Pieter produced the prototype in Rome.3 The Harvard Landscape with Exotic Animals is presumably also a variant of a drawing by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, but in this case the original is lost.4 Pieter Bruegel’s forest scenes of 1554 attest to the impact on his work of Venetian landscape art, particularly woodcuts after Titian, during the final year of his Italian sojourn.

The attribution to Jan Brueghel the Elder of Landscape with Exotic Animal and Wooded Landscape with a Family of Bears, Deer, and Other Wild Animals (see Fig. 1) was first proposed by Richard Day when Sotheby’s sold both sheets in the 1960s. Matthias Winner endorsed the idea in 1972, as did Hans Mielke (tentatively) in 1996, and Manfred Sellink in 2001.5 Winner noted that the inscriptions on these two sheets are very likely in Jan’s hand and in the same ink as the drawings. Examination of the Harvard sheet with infrared light supports his observation that inscription and drawing were executed in the same ink.6 While the technique of both works acknowledges that of Pieter’s originals, it also resembles the handling of Flooded Valley with Trees (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam), which bears an inscription by Jan and a partially truncated date that very likely reads 1593 (Fig. 2).7 Although Winner regarded Flooded Valley with Trees as a variant by Jan of a lost original by Pieter, Mielke more plausibly considered it an original composition by the younger artist.8 In attributing the Harvard work to Paul Bril, Louisa Wood Ruby discounted the crucial evidence of the pen work of the tree trunks and foliage in Jan’s Rotterdam drawing and Wooded Landscape with a Family of Bears, Deer, and Other Wild Animals, which is inseparable from that of Landscape with Exotic Animals and quite different from that of the works by Bril she cites for comparison.9 The year inscribed on the Rotterdam drawing suggests a date in the 1590s, during Jan’s sojourn in Italy (1589–96), for Landscape with Exotic Animals and Wooded Landscape with a Family of Bears, Deer, and Other Wild Animals.

Notes

1 For the whole group, see Hans Mielke, Pieter Bruegel: Die Zeichnungen (Turnhout, Netherlands, 1996), pp. 16–17 and cats. 18–20, pp. 40–42, cat. Prob. 1, p. 70, and figs. B6 and B7, p. 231. Frits Lugt, “Pieter Bruegel und Italien,” Festschrift für Max J. Friedländer (Leipzig, 1927), pp. 111–29, first assembled the group and argued for its place in Bruegel’s oeuvre, which was definitively established by Karl Arndt, “Pieter Brugel d. Ä. und die Geschichte der ‘Waldlandschaft,” Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, vol. 14, 1972: 69–121. See also Manfred Sellink in Nadine M. Orenstein, ed., Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints (Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001), cat. 119, pp. 264–65.

2 Jan Brueghel the Elder, after Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Wooded Landscape with a Family of Bears, Deer, and Other Wild Animals (Fig. 1). Brown ink. 339 × 244 mm. Paris, Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection, 8025; Karel G. Boon, The Netherlandish and German Drawings of the XVth and XVIth Centuries of the Frits Lugt Collection (Paris, 1992), cat. 46, pp. 77–78.

3 In the inscription on the Harvard drawing, “inven” stands for invenit, meaning he invented the original composition. Landscape with a Family of Bears, Deer, and Other Wild Animals is inscribed B…uegel inven 1554. Roma.

4 Mielke, p. 17, and cat. Prob.1, p. 70.

5 Sales, Sotheby’s, London, 21 October 1963, lot 54, and 11 March 1964, lot 194; Matthias Winner, “Neubestimmtes und Unbestimmtes im zeichnerischen Werk von Jan Brueghel d. Ä,” Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, vol. 14 (1972): 122–60, pp. 140–41; Matthias Winner in Hans Mielke, ed., Pieter Bruegel d. Ä. als Zeichner (Berlin: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, 1975), cat. 42, pp. 44–45; Boon, cat. 46, pp. 77–78; Mielke, pp. 16–17, cat. Probl. 1, p. 70, as “probably” (wahrscheinlich) by Jan Brueghel; Manfred Sellink in Orenstein, cat. 119, pp. 264–65; Manfred Sellink, Bruegel: The Complete Paintings, Drawings, and Prints (Ghent, Belgium, 2007), p. 278.

6 When the sheet is viewed in varying wavelengths of infrared light, the ink of the inscription behaves similarly to that of the drawing. Although not conclusive evidence that the inks are from the same batch, this finding does securely demonstrate that the inks are not distinctly different. Thanks to Penley Knipe for her analysis.

7 Jan Brueghel the Elder, Flooded Valley with Trees (Fig. 2). Brown ink. 237 × 341 mm. Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, N 127. Inscribed (by the artist?), brown ink, lower right, In Milano 13 Gennaro 15. . . . Inscribed by a later hand, verso, Brueglo 1593 en Janvier. Yvonne Bleyerveld, Albert J. Elen and Judith Niessen, Bosch to Bloemaert: Early Netherlandish Drawings in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (Paris: Fondation Custodia; Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2014), cat. 73, pp. 212–13, repr. Winner, pp. 140–41; Matthias Winner in Mielke, cat. 50, pp. 48–49. Louisa Wood Ruby in Mirjam Neumeister, Christien Melzer, and Sabrina Lind, eds., Brueghel: Gemälde von Jan Brueghel d. Ä (Munich: Alte Pinakothek, 2013), pp. 37–38.

8 Mielke, p. 17.

9 Louisa Wood Ruby, “Bruegel/Breughel/Bril: The ‘Lugt Group’ Revisited,” Master Drawings, vol. 50, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 357–64, pp. 357 and 360–63, repr. p. 358, fig. 1; Ruby in Neumeister et al., pp. 43–44. Ruby’s attribution to Paul Bril was accepted by Manfred Sellink, “The Dating of Pieter Bruegel’s Landscape Drawings Reconsidered and a New Discovery,” Master Drawings, vol. 51, no. 3 (Fall 2013): 291–322, p. 292. Compare the very different handling of the tree trunks and foliage in the Bril drawings reproduced by Ruby (2012) on pp. 361, fig. 6, and 362, fig. 7. Other elements of the Harvard work, such as the short, stubby figures and flat-topped rocks, which Ruby notes are uncharacteristic for Jan, do occur in the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and were presumably in Pieter’s original drawing.

Figures
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gifts for Special Uses Fund
Accession Year
1977
Object Number
1977.4
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Karl Arndt, "Pieter Bruegel d. Ä. als Vorläufer Conincxloos: Bemerkungen zur Geschichte der Waldlandschaft.", Kunstgeschichtliche Gesellschaft zu Berlin (1965-1966), no. 14, pp. 9-11, no. 6, p. 10

Frits Lugt, Inventaire général des dessins des écoles du Nord, publié sous les auspices du Cabinet des dessins. Maîtres des anciens Pays-Bas nés avant 1550, Musée du Louvre (Paris, 1968), under cat. no. 333, p. 84 (as probable replique [of Pieter Bruegel the Elder])

Matthias Winner, "Neubestimmtes und Unbestimmtes im Zeichnerischen Werk Von Jan Brueghel D. Ä.", Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin--Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin, 1972), vol. 14, pp. 122-60, p. 141

Karl Arndt, "Pieter Brugel d. Ä. und die Geschichte der 'Waldlandschaft.'", Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen (1972), vol. 14, pp. 69-121, cat. no. K4, pp. 105-106, and pp. 74, 77, 79, 83, 87, 90, 92, 97, 101, 104, 110, 120, repr. p. 104, fig. 15

Recent Acquisitions and Promised Gifts: Sculpture, Drawings, Prints, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art (Washington, 1974), p. 82 (n. 5) (as copy after lost Pieter Bruegel the Elder)

Staatliche Museen Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Pieter Bruegel d. Ä. als Zeichner, exh. cat., Verlag Gebr. Mann (Berlin, 1975), under cat. no. 42, p. 44 and under cat. no. 50, p. 49

Justus Müller Hofstede, “Zur Interpretation von Pieter Bruegels Landschaft Ästhetischer Lansdschaftsbegriff und Stoische Weltbetrachtung", Pieter Bruegel und Seine Welt, ed. Otto von Simson and Matthias Winner, Gebr. Mann Verlag (Berlin, 1979), pp. 101, 103, and 110

Karel G. Boon, L'Epoque de Lucas de Leyde et Pierre Bruegel: Dessins de Anciens Pay-Bas Collection Frits Lugt, Fondation Custodia (Florence and Paris, 1980-1981), under cat. no. 44, pp. 62-64

Hans Mielke, "[Review] Lucas de Leyde et Pierre Bruegel: Dessins des anciens Pays-Bas: Collection Frits Lugt", Master Drawings (1986), vol. 23-24, no. 1, pp. 75-90, p. 83

John Oliver Hand, J. R. Judson, and William W. Robinson, The Age of Bruegel: Netherlandish Drawings in the Sixteenth Century, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art/Cambridge University Press (Washington, D.C. and Cambridge, England, 1986), under cat. no. 27, p. 98

Karel G. Boon, The Netherlandish and German Drawings of the XVth and XVIth Centuries of the Frits Lugt Collection (Paris, France, 1992), vol. 1, under cat. no. 46, pp. 77-78 (n. 6)

Hans Mielke, "La question des paysages forestiers dans l'oeuvre de Pieter Bruegel", Le Paysage en Europe du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle: Actes du colloque organisé au..., ed. Catherine Legrand, Musée du Louvre (Paris, France, 1994), pp. 15, 20, 22 and 23 (n. 18), repr. fig. 10

Hans Mielke, Pieter Bruegel: Die Zeichnungen, Brepols (Turnhout, 1996), cat. no. Probl. 1, p. 70, repr. p. 193

Nadine Orenstein and Manfred Sellink, Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints, exh. cat., ed. Nadine Orenstein, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 2001), cat. no. 119, pp. 264-5, repr., and pp. 71, under cat. nos. 15-16, p. 108, under cat. no. 18, p. 113

Manfred Sellink, Bruegel The Complete Paintings, Drawings and Prints, Ludion Press Ghent (Ghent, Belgium, 2007), cat. no. x11, p. 280, repr. and pp. 14 and 278, repr. p. 15, fig. 12

Louisa Wood Ruby, "Bruegel/Breughel/Bril: The 'Lugt Group' Revisited", Master Drawings (2012), vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 357-64, pp. 357 and 360-63, repr. p. 358, fig. 1 (as Paul Bril)

Manfred Sellink, "The Dating of Pieter Brueghel's Landscape Drawings Reconsidered and a New Discovery", Master Drawings (2013), vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 219-322, p. 292 (as Paul Bril)

Dr. Mirjam Neumeister, ed., Brueghel. Gemälde von Jan Brueghel d. Ä., exh. cat., Alte Pinakothek (Munich, 2013), pp. 43-44 (as Paul Bril)

William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson, Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016), cat. no. 16, pp. 73-75, repr. p. 74

Exhibition History

Northern Renaissance Art: Selected Works, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 02/28/1984 - 04/08/1984

Prints and Drawings from the Time of Holbein and Breugel, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 11/21/1985 - 01/12/1986

Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 05/24/2001 - 08/05/2001; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 09/25/2001 - 12/02/2001

Subjects and Contexts

Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu