Jorgen Wadum

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The Bruegel Success Story symposium – September 12 – 14, 2018, Brussels

A blockbuster conference containing the latest research on the Bruegel / Brueghel family of painters is being held this fall in Brussels.  Many of the leading Bruegel scholars are presenting new findings related to the Bruegel dynasty.

Discoveries related to the Bruegel clan – including patriarch Pieter the Elder, sons Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder and other members of the family – will be presented at the symposium.  One of the highlights will be presentations related to Pieter Bruegel’s “Dulle Griet,” a painting in Antwerp which has recently undergone extensive investigation, research and cleaning.


The Bruegel / Brueghel clan continues to be top draws at museums and set records at auction (including toping high estimates at this week’s Old Master’s auctions in London).

Registration is open now for this impressive symposium.

More information and registration at


Conference Venue: Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, Place du Musée, B-1000 Brussels.


12 September 2018, WEDNESDAY

9:00 – 9:45 Registration at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

9:45 – 10:00 Welcome by Hilde De Clercq, director of the KIK-IRPA and Michel Draguet, director of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

CHAIR Lieve Watteeuw

10:00 – 10:40 KEYNOTE LECTURE: Leen Huet, The Surprises of Dulle Griet

10:40 – 11:00 Larry Silver, Sibling Rivalry: Jan Brueghel’s Rediscovered Early Crucifixion

11:00 – 11:20 Véronique Bücken, The Adoration of the Kings in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium: Overview and new perspectives

11:20 – 11:30 Discussion

COFFEE BREAK 11:30 – 12:00

CHAIR Dominique Allart

12:00 – 12:20 Yao-Fen You, Ellen Hanspach-Bernal, Christina Bisulca and Aaron Steele, The Afterlife of the Detroit Wedding Dance: Visual Reception, Alterations and Reinterpretation

12:20 – 12:40 Manfred Sellink, Marie Postec and Pascale Fraiture, Dancing with the bride – a little studied copy after Bruegel the Elder

12.40 – 13.00 Mirjam Neumeister and Eva Ortner, Examination of the Brueghel holdings in the Alte Pinakothek/Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich

13:00 – 13:10 Discussion

LUNCH BREAK 13:10 – 14:30

CHAIR Elizabeth Honig

14:30 – 14:50 Amy Orrock, Jan Brueghel the Elder’s Oil Sketches of Animals and Birds: Form, Function and Additions to the Oeuvre

14:50 – 15:10 René Lommez Gomes, Regarding the Character of Each Animal. An essay on form and colour in non-European fauna painted by Jan Brueghel the Elder

15:10 – 15:30 Uta Neidhardt, The Master of the Dresden “Landscape with the Continence of Scipio” – a journeyman in the studio of Jan Brueghel the Elder?

15:30 – 15:40 Discussion

COFFEE BREAK 15:40 – 16:10

CHAIR Bart Fransen

16.10 – 17.10 Christina Currie, Steven Saverwyns, Livia Depuydt, Pascale Fraiture, Jean-Albert Glatigny and Alexia Coudray, Lifting the veil: The Dulle Griet rediscovered through conservation, scientific imagery and analysis

Christina Currie, Steven Saverwyns, Sonja Brink, Dominique Allart, The coloured drawing of the Dulle Griet in the Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf: new findings on its status and dating

Dominique Allart and Christina Currie, Bruegel’s painting technique reappraised through the Dulle Griet

17:10 – 17:20 Discussion

18.00 Opening reception in Brussels Town Hall (Gothic and Marriage rooms)

13 September 2018, THURSDAY

9:00 Doors open

CHAIR Ethan Matt Kavaler

9:30 – 10:10 KEYNOTE LECTURE: Elizabeth Honig, Copia: Jan Brueghel and the Rhetoric and Practice of Abundance

10:10 – 10:30 Yoko Mori, Is Bruegel’s Sleeping Peasant an Image of Caricature?

10:30 – 10:50 Jamie Edwards, Erasmus’s De Copia and Bruegel the Elder’s ‘inverted’ Carrying of the Cross (1564): An ‘abundant style’ in Rhetoric, Literature and Art?

10:50 – 11:00 Discussion

COFFEE BREAK 11:00 – 11:30

CHAIR Leen Huet

11:30 – 11:50 Tine Meganck, Behind Bruegel: how “close viewing” may reveal original ownership

11:50 – 12:10 Annick Born, Behind the scenes in Pieter Bruegel’s success story: the network of the in-laws and their relatives

12:10 – 12:30 Petra Maclot, In Search of the Bruegel’s Homes and Workshops in Antwerp

12:30 – 12:40 Discussion

LUNCH BREAK 12:40 – 14:40

CHAIR Christina Currie

14:40 – 15:00 Lieve Watteeuw, Marina Van Bos, Joris Van Grieken and Maarten Bassens, ‘View on the Street of Messina’, circle of Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawing techniques and materials examined

15:00 – 15:20 Maarten Bassens, “Diet wel aenmerct, die siet groot wondere”. Retracing Pieter Bruegel’s printing press(es) by means of a typographical inquiry

15:20 – 15:40 Edward Wouk, Pieter Bruegel’s Subversive Drawings

15:40 – 15:50 Discussion

COFFEE BREAK 15:50 – 16:20

CHAIR Valentine Henderiks

16:20 – 16:40 Jürgen Muller, Pieter Bruegel’s “The Triumph of Death” revisited

16:40 – 17:00 Jan Muylle, A lost painting of Pieter Bruegel, The Hoy

17:00 – 17:20 Hilde Cuvelier, Max J. Friedländer’s perception of Bruegel: Rereading the connoisseur with historical perspective

17:20 – 17:30 Discussion

14 September 2018, FRIDAY

9.00 Doors open

CHAIR Manfred Sellink

9:30 – 10:10 KEYNOTE LECTURE: Ethan Matt Kavaler, Peasant Bruegel and his Aftermath

10:10 – 10:30 Christina Currie and Dominique Allart, The creative process in the Triumph of Death by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and creative solutions in two versions by his sons

10:30 – 10:50 Anne Haack Christensen, David Buti, Arie Pappot, Eva de la Fuente Pedersen and Jørgen Wadum, The father, the son, the followers: Six Brueg(h)els in Copenhagen examined

10:50 – 11:00 Discussion

COFFEE BREAK 11:00 – 11:30

CHAIR Dominique Vanwijnsberghe

11:30 – 11:50 Lorne Campbell, Bruegel and Beuckelaer: contacts and contrasts

11:50 – 12:10 Patrick Le Chanu, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and France

12:10 – 12:30 Daan van Heesch, Hercules et simia: the Peculiar Afterlife of Bruegel in Sixteenth-Century Segovia

12:30 – 12:50 Francesco Ruvolo, The Painter and the Prince. Abraham Brueghel and Don Antonio Ruffo. Artistic and cultural relations in Messina from the seventeenth century. With unpublished documents

12:50 – 13:00 Discussion

LUNCH BREAK 13:00 – 14:30

CHAIR Véronique Bücken

14.30 – 14.50 Lucinda Timmermans, Painted ‘teljoren’ by the Bruegel family

14:50 – 15:10 Pascale Fraiture and Ian Tyers, Dendrochronology and the Bruegel dynasty

15:10 – 15:30 Jørgen Wadum and Ingrid Moortgat, An enigmatic panel maker from Antwerp and his supply to the Brueghels

15:30 – 15:50 Ron Spronk, Elke Oberthaler, Sabine Pénot, and Manfred Sellink, with Alice Hoppe Harnoncourt, The Two Towers: Pieter Bruegel’s Tower of Babel panels in Vienna and Rotterdam

15:50 – 16.00 Discussion

16:00 – 16:10 Closing Remarks: Christina Currie and Dominque Allart



A Brueghel In 3 Parts

Bruegel Painting with 3 Squares Better Version (this is the right one)

Approximately 150 years ago, a Welsh owner of a large format Pieter Brueghel the Younger paining, “Peasant Wedding Dance in a Barn,” was apparently offended by several images in the painting and chopped the painting into several smaller paintings, removing the offending images from the cut section(s).

The 3 remaining sections of the painting, when superimposed on the large painting, can be seen above. What was cut from the painting are images of a dancing man’s codpiece, a man reaching under a woman’s skirt and other images that must have offended the Welsh owner’s sensibilities.

It is a shame that the Welsh owner took the drastic action of hacking the painting into sections to remove the offending images. Other versions of the work included judicious overpainting, which would have removed the offending images without necessitating cutting the panel into pieces.

One of the three fragments of the painting recently came to light through a New York auction. This fragment has wonderful colors and careful modeling of facial features. Judging by the attention to detail (such as the delicate rendering of the thread on the dancer’s shirt), this work seems to have been one of the best of the known 27 versions painted by Brueghel the Younger and his workshop.  This painting is likely an autograph work by the hand of Brueghel the Younger (see image below).

Bruegel Barn Section

The back of the panel has both the Antwerp panel maker’s mark in the shape of the Antwerp castle with two hands above and the clover mark of Michael Claessen, the dean of the Antwerp panel makers and a frequent panel maker to Pieter Brueghel the Younger.  Both marks point to a specific date range for the painting.  The Antwerp panel maker’s mark was used 1619-1638, and Claessen created panels between 1615-1637. Therefore, Brueghel the Younger must have executed this work after 1616 and before 1637.


Since Pieter Brueghel the Younger typically copied works of his father, it is natural to look for the original work painted by his father. Unfortunately, the original work no longer exists or has not yet been identified.

This blog is on a search for the other 2 fragments of this painting. If anyone knows the whereabouts of them, please contact the editor.

Sources for this posting:
Jorgen Wadum, “The Antwerp Brand on Paintings on Panel” in Looking Through Paintings, Emma Hermens, Archetype Books, 2007 (and private correspondence)
Klaus Ertz, Pieter Brueghel der Jüngere 1564–1637/1638. Die Gemälde mit kritischem Oeuvrekatalog, Lingen 1998–2000, (and private correspondence)
Thomas Bodkin, ‘The peasant wedding’, Burlington Magazine 1930 (56), p. 98-105