Pieter Brueghel the Younger

etching of old man wearing cloak and large ruffled collar

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Pieter Brueghel the Younger, ca. 1627–35
Etching (first state)
9 5/8 × 6 1/8 in. (24.4 × 15.6 cm)
Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge; Gift of Walter C. Klein

The son and namesake of the greatest Netherlandish painter of the sixteenth century, Pieter Brueghel the Younger devoted his career to producing a vast number of copies and variations of his father’s work. Van Dyck made two drawings of Brueghel to prepare a print for the Iconographie series. In the drawing shown here, Brueghel appears in three-quarter profile, turned away from the viewer, clasping his cloak to his chest. The final print, based on a drawing now in Saint Petersburg (State Hermitage Museum), brings Brueghel’s hands closer together and positions him frontally, directing his gaze outward. Van Dyck adopted this latter pose for an etching, which he executed himself and endowed with the swift quality of a pen sketch.

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