Pieter Brueghel the Younger

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Pieter Brueghel the Younger

Life of 

Pieter Brueghel the Younger was the son of the famous painters of sixteenth-century painters Pieter Brueghel the elder, also known as the "peasant Brueghel." Brueghel the elder, the younger's father, died in 1569 when Brueghel the younger was only five years old. After that, his mother died in 1578. Brueghel, the younger with his brother Jan Brueghel, and Sister Marie went to stay with their grandmother, Mayken Verhulst was the wife of an accomplished artist, and she was an artist on her own. According to the biographer, she was the first teacher of her two grandsons.

After 1578 Brueghel family moved to Antwerp, where Pieter Brueghel, the younger, entered the studio of a landscape painter Gillis van Coninxloo. In 1585, his teacher left the studio, then in the year 1584/1585, Pieter Brueghel the younger was listed as an independent master. In 1588 Pieter Brueghel, the younger married Elisabeth Goddelet and had seven children, and many of them passed away when they were young. Pieter Brueghel the younger opened a large studio in Antwerp, and there he copied his father's works. Due to his drinking habit, he was always financially deprived. Pieter Brueghel, the younger, died in Antwerp in 1564 at the age of 72.


Work of Pieter Brueghel the younger

Pieter Brueghel the Younger was a great painter who loved to paint religious subjects, landscapes, village scenes, and proverbs. His genre of painting was almost the same as his father's, but according to some, he lacked humanism and subtlety like his father. His studio was full of copies of his father's work.


Apart from the replicas of his father's work, Pieter Brueghel the younger also created many original works. His original work was bright, bold, and energetic, just like his father's. One of the most successful designs of Pieter Brueghel the Younger was "The Village Lawyer". The title of this painting was perfect because the person behind the desk was wearing a Lawyer's bonnet. This painting also indicates the peasants lining up with gifts like eggs or chicken that shows the payment was made with grain. 


Apart from this, another famous painting of Pieter Brueghel the Younger was "Whitsun bride", and one of its copies can be found in the Metropolitan Museum. This painting represents Flemish springtime. This painting focuses around a flower gathered in the fields by the children showing the style and colour composition of his father's work. The painting has rich colours and a blue sky, which is a mixture of composition and drawing.

Pieter Brueghel the Younger was also a copyist, and he mainly copied the artworks of his father. He called his copy technique "pouncing." This technique was only possible because of his large and well-organized workshop. The copies were so good that it is hard to tell the difference between the two of them.

The colours and addition or the emission of the details were perfect. Pieter Brueghel, the younger, had no access to much of his father's artwork, so he mostly relied on his father's work prints. His copies covered a wide range of themes and the work of his father. The most copied work of his father was the "Winter Landscape with Skaters a Bird-Trap" this work was copied by Pieter Brueghel, the younger more than 60 times in his studio. 


The large production of copies of his father indicates that there was a huge demand for Pieter Brueghel the Elder's work. But without the work of Pieter Brueghel, the younger the public would not have had to get a chance to see the work of Pieter Brueghel, the Elder.