Jan Brueghel the Elder
(ˈjɑn ˈbɾøːɣəl; 1568 – 13 January 1625) was a Flemish painter
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...
, son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and father of Jan Brueghel the Younger
Jan Brueghel the Younger was a Flemish Baroque painter, and the son of Jan Brueghel the Elder.He was trained by his father and spent his career producing works in a similar style. Along with his brother Ambrosius, he produced landscapes, allegorical scenes and other works of meticulous detail. ...
. Nicknamed "Velvet" Brueghel, "Flower" Brueghel, and "Paradise" Brueghel, of which the latter two were derived from his floral still life
A still life is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural or man-made...
s which were his favored subjects, while the former may refer to the velveteen sheen of his colors or to his habit of wearing velvet.
He was born in Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...
. His father died in 1569, and then, following the death of his mother in 1578, Jan, along with his brother Pieter Brueghel the Younger
Pieter Brueghel the Younger /ˈpitəɾ ˈbɾøːxəl/ was a Flemish painter, known for numerous copies after his father Pieter Brueghel the Elder's paintings and nicknamed "Hell Brueghel" for his fantastic treatments of fire and grotesque imagery.-Life:Pieter Brueghel the Younger was the oldest son of the...
and sister Marie, went to live with their grandmother Mayken Verhulst
Mayken Verhulst was a sixteenth-century miniature, tempera and watercolor painter, identified by Lodovico Guicciardini in 1567 as one of the most important female artists in the Low Countries.-Life:Mayken Verhulst was born in Mechelen in 1518...
(widow of Pieter Coecke van Aelst). She was an artist in her own right, and according to Carel van Mander
Karel van Mander was a Flemish-born Dutch painter and poet, who is mainly remembered as a biographer of Netherlandish artists in his Schilder-boeck. As an artist he played an important role in Northern Mannerism in the Netherlands....
, possibly the first teacher of the two sons. The family moved to Antwerp
sometime after 1578.
In about 1589 Jan traveled to Italy, probably via Cologne. There he resided first in Naples, where his patron was Francesco Carracciolo. Next he moved to Rome, working for several discerning cardinals including, most famously, Federico Borromeo. It was in the company of Borromeo that Brueghel left Rome and took up residence in Milan, where he was part of the Cardinal's household. In the summer of 1596 he returned to Antwerp, where he remained for the rest of his life apart from short journeys to Prague and to the Dutch Republic.
While in Italy he applied himself principally to landscapes and history paintings, including Biblical narratives and scenes from mythology and ancient history. Back in Antwerp he continued these types of subject matter but also acquired considerable reputation by his flower paintings and allegories. He formed a style more independent of his father's than did his brother Pieter the Younger.
Many of his paintings are collaborations in which figures by other painters were placed in landscapes painted by Jan Brueghel; in other cases, Brueghel painted the figures into another artist's landscape or architectural interior. The most famous of his collaborators was Peter Paul Rubens
in several of his small pictures—such as his "Vertumnus and Pomona," the "Satyr viewing the Sleeping Nymph," and the "Terrestrial Paradise.".
He had a studio in Antwerp
, where he died from cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...
on 13 January 1625.