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Larry Silver

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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.

Bruegel_Mad_meg_600

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 http://conf.kikirpa.be/bruegel2018/.

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

THE PROGRAM

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

 

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Larry Silver’s “Pieter Bruegel”: New Insights On The Old Master

A review of “Pieter Bruegel” by Larry Silver, Abbeville Press, 2011

The images created by Bruegel come thrillingly to life in this Abbeville Press monograph.  This handsome volume, written by Larry Silver, Farquhar Professor of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania, puts forward new insights into Bruegel and the time in which he lived.   Silver set out to document Bruegel’s output in prints, drawings and paintings by focusing on patterns and areas of interest common to these diverse media.  Silver places Bruegel in the social and historical context of his time, as a commentator of the religious and political unrest occurring in the Netherlands during his short lifetime.  Silver also includes information not typically found in other Bruegel monographs, documenting the rise of Bruegel scholarship at the end of the nineteenth century, when the new country of Belgium began to look for a native artist to celebrate.

Silver’s first chapter focuses on “Chris Carrying the Cross,” recently made into the fascinating film by Lech Majewski and discussed in a previous blog entry.  This chapter is an excellent companion piece to the film, setting Bruegel’s work in the context of Rogier van der Weyden, who lived before Bruegel, as well as Bruegel’s contemporaries such as Joachim Beuckelaer.  For Silver, “Christ Carrying the Cross” showcases Bruegel’s range of expression found in his earlier prints, as well as pointing the way to his groundbreaking final paintings, which break with the traditional staging of peasant and religious scenes.

Other chapters cover Bruegel’s life in Antwerp, his prominent patron Nicolaes Jonghelinck and his time with print maker (and future father-in-law) Hieronymus Cock.  In a chapter on Bruegel as the “second Bosch,” Silver describes a fascinating transition between the “Bosch” brand, which Bruegel used early in his career, to the “Bruegel” brand, which was not only used by Bruegel but continued by his son and followers for generations.

Silver’s chapters on religion and tradition include an analysis of Bruegel’s ongoing interest in soldiers and weapons, placing Bruegel’s art in the broader context of earlier German images of important battles, such as the Battle of Pavia, which clearly had a significant influence on the artist.

It is inevitable that a Bruegel monograph would include a section on peasant labor and leisure, but Silver manages to put an interesting new spin on this oft covered subject.  Building on Alison Stewart’s recent work, Silver shows Bruegel continuing and expanding the tradition of scenes found in German woodcuts.  The fascinating scholarly debate between whether Bruegel’s treatment of peasants was sympathetic or moralistically critical is covered well by Silver.

One of the aspects of the monograph that I enjoyed the most was Silver’s careful treatment of lost works by Bruegel that have come down to us through copies by his sons.  Silver rightly points out that these lost works deserve robust, careful consideration in the context of original Bruegel’s that survive and should not be discounted as is typical in other Bruegel monographs.  Paintings such as “Wedding Procession” and “Visit to a Farmhouse” are two examples where only copies survive, but nevertheless are important components of the Bruegel oeuvre.

The final chapter, which details Bruegel’s legacy, includes an analysis of works by his sons, as well as those who copied or even forged Bruegel’s works.  Silver sees this as Bruegel coming to assume a similar status as Bosch, where “Bruegelian” images and themes were adapted and repeated to great commercial success.  Silver concludes the monograph by highlighting how no single scholarly consensus has emerged for Bruegel.  Rather, he is viewed through the prism of the agendas of scholars who study him.

This monograph is highly recommended.