Saturday, May 05, 2007

Jan Brueghel In The Underworld

Aenaes and the Sybil in Hades

Below is a small example of Orpheus in the Underworld, Oil on copper, 1594. Unfortunately this is the largest example I've been able to find of this painting online. This smaller copy has more detail but neither do the painting any kind of justice. If anyone has links to where I can find a larger example of this or the other couple of Brueghel paintings of the Underworld, please share!

"Brueghel's extraordinary visions of the underworld are among his most famous works. Despite their widespread reputation, he produced only a limited number of such works, all of which were painted in his early years between 1594 and 1604. They fall roughly into two groups: those such as the present work with mythological subjects such as the stories of Aeneas, Juno and Orpheus, in which the depiction of the infernal landscape is the dominant motif, and those with subjects such as the Temptation of St Anthony or Lot and his daughters, which are placed in more traditional nocturnal landscape settings." - quote from here.

And to clear up any confusion about just which Brueghel this post is about, you can see the family tree of artists here.

Also as pointed out by Paul Rumsey, the following painting "Charon crossing the Styx" is actually by Jacob Isaacsz van Swanenburgh. I'm going to have to investigate this artist further as the painting is incredible. Thanks for the heads up, Paul. The gaping mouth of hell motif seen in this work is something I'm going to devote a post towards in the not too distant future.

details of the above painting..

1 comment:

Paul Rumsey said...

Hi Aeron
The painting ( and two details) with the huge mouth and flying boat is not by Jan Brueghel (the brushwork is much more fluid, meaty and expressive than J.B.) I have the picture reproduced in "Mannerism" by Jacques Bousquet as by Jacob Isaacsz van Swanenburgh "Charon crossing the Styx" Brussels private collection. I also have another very similar version of the picture also credited to Jacob Isaac Swanenburgh "L'Enfer", National Museum Gdansk, reproduced in "Le Diable, Erotologie de Satan" by Roland Villeneuve. Paul.