Search for over 80 million sold items in our price database

The kermesse of saint george
Sold

About the item

This is Pieter Brueghel the Younger's finest and most original composition.  Not at all dependant on any of his father's works, it is more assured and accomplished than any of his own other original compositions.  Writing about this picture, the pioneering Breughel scholar George Marlier explains this at greater length:\n\n"Cette composition, dont nos n’avons repéré que trois exemplaires, est assurément une des plus belles et des plus complètes de Pierre le Jeune, celle où sa personnalité s’affirme de la manière la plus brillante.  Le tableau est à cent pour cent “breughélien”, à la fois par le rhythme dynamique qui le parcourt de part en part, la stylisation des figures et les accords de couleurs.  Mais tout en observant ces données qui se situent dans le prolongement de l’art du Vieux Bruegel, son fils Pierre donne libre cours à la verve qui est lui propre, à son goût de l’anecdote et à sa maîtrise d’un métier qui égale celui des plus grands".\n\n("This composition, of which we have found only three other examples, is certainly one of Pieter the Younger's most beautiful and most complete and one which most brilliantly affirms his own personality. The picture is one hundred percent "Breughelian", not only for the dramatic rhythms that pervade it, but also in the stylisation of the figures and in the colour harmonies.  Whilst maintaining the continuity of Pieter the Elder's art through these themes, his son Pieter gives rein to his own particular vigour, his own taste for anecdote and his own mastery of his profession that equals those of the greatest artists.")\nThis is also one of Pieter Brueghel the Younger's rarest compositions, since including the present work only three securely autograph versions are known (although a fourth version is probably also autograph).  The prime version, larger in scale, and signed and dated 1628, was sold in these Rooms on 8th December 2004, lot 11, for £3,300,000.  A third picture, of very similar dimensions to the present example, and signed but undated, is in the Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp.  A fourth version is recorded in the Oberlander collection before 1993, but is known only from a photograph.  Although all four pictures are quite similar, Klaus Ertz (see Literature) divides the compositional type into two groups: Type A, the version sold in these Rooms in December 2004, and Type B, which includes the present picture, the one in the Antwerp Museum and the ex-Oberlander painting.  The most noticeable differences are in the lower right corner: in Type B the bagpipe player no longer occupies the corner of the composition but has been moved to the doorway of the inn; and the seated glutton rests on the log, and not on the basket full of produce.  There are also numerous smaller differences.\nMuch of Pieter Brueghel the Younger's output was derived from his father's compositions, and some of his paintings are based on other early sources.  Others still depend on sources within his own work.  The present picture has no such derivations or resonances, with the sole exception of the façade of the inn to the left, which, as Jacqueline Folie pointed out in the 1980 Brussels exhibition catalogue, is loosely derived, with many changes, from an engraving of the Kermesse of Saint George attributed to Hieronymus Cock after Pieter Bruegel the Elder.  Given that it is seen in reverse in the print, it is perhaps more likely that Pieter Brueghel the Younger had access to a drawing by his father done of the inn, or that both father and son knew the same inn, and incorporated it from memory.\n\nJacqueline Folie did not falter when cataloguing for the 1980 exhibition this picture that her mentor Georges Marlier wrote about so vivdly: "Il s'y est livré, sans la constrainte d'un modèle, au plaisir de peindre l'agitation joyeuse d'une foule en liesse, en une sarabande de mouvements instantanés, de mimiques expressives et de couleurs vives se détacheant vigoureusement sur le fond lumineux d'une préparation claire.  Chaque groupe est à lui seul un tableau, notamment la procession, dont la chape dorée du prêtre forme comme la clef de voûte de cette pyramide mobile et colorée".\nSigned lower left: BRVEGHEL
GB
GB
GB

medium

Oil on oak panel

creator

Pieter Brueghel

dimensions

72.1 by 103.2 cm.; 28 1/2 by 40 1/2 in.

exhibition

Brussels, Galerie Robert Finck, Tableaux de maîtres du XVe au XIXe siècle, 1967, no. 17 (reproduced in the catalogue); Brussels, Galerie Robert Finck, Trente-trois tableaux de Pierre Brueghel le Jeune dans les collections privées belges, 1969, no. 18 (reproduced in the catalogue), lent by Frantz Pottiez; Ghent, Centrum voor Kunst en Cultuur, Eenheid en Scheiding in de Nederlanden 1555-1585, 1976, no. 111; Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruegel.  Une dynastie de peintres, 18 September - 18 November 1980, no. 100, lent by Frantz Pottiez.

literature

G. Marlier (ed. J. Folie), Pierre Brueghel le Jeune, Brussels 1969, pp. 381-6, reproduced figs. 234-8; Eenheid en Scheiding in de Nederlanden 1555-1585, exhibition catalogue, Ghent, Centrum voor Kunst en Cultuur, 1976, pp. 81-2, no. 111, reproduced; J. Folie, in Bruegel. Une dynastie de peintres, exhibition catalogue, Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, 18 September - 18 November 1980, p. 160, no. 100, reproduced in colour; H.-J. Raupp, Bauernsatiren, Enstehung und Entwicklung des bäuerlichen Genres in der deutschen und niederländischen Kunst ca. 1470-1570, Niederzier 1986, p. 228, reproduced fig. 209; K. Ertz, Pieter Brueghel der Jüngere (1564-1637/38). Die Gemälde mit kritischem Oeuvrekatalog, Lingen 2000, vol. II, pp. 871-2, 909, no. E. [= Echt] 1242, reproduced p. 871, fig. 705.

provenance

Maliroux collection, Namur, by circa 1922; With Robert Finck, Brussels, 1967; Frantz L.C. Pottiez, Brussels, from 1967 until after 1980; Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Gentleman'), London, Sotheby's, 8 April 1981, lot 80, where acquired by the present owner for £250,000.

signedDate

Signed lower left: BRVEGHEL

consignmentDesignation

The Property of a Trust

creator_nationality_dates

Brussels 1564 - 1637/8 Antwerp


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

You may also like

Artist: George Shawe

Artist: George Shawe

Price
5,800 USD

George Hocht, Jr. - I

George Hocht, Jr. - I

Price
1,550 USD

Waiting to Perform

Waiting to Perform

Price
500 USD

City Vista

City Vista

Price
3,000 USD

Times Square

Times Square

Price
200 USD

New York City Skyline

New York City Skyline

Price
6,500 USD

Winter Landscape

Winter Landscape

Price
1,450 USD


Advert
Advert

Sold items

Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer
Sold
Three Studies of George Dyer
Sold

Three Studies of George Dyer

Realized Price
38,614,000 USD

La Gare Saint-Lazare, vue extérieure
Sold

La Gare Saint-Lazare, vue extérieure

Realized Price
33,178,420 USD

Study for Head of George Dyer
Sold

Study for Head of George Dyer

Realized Price
27,398,649 USD

Saint James the Greater 
Sold

Saint James the Greater 

Realized Price
25,800,000 USD

saint rufina
Sold

saint rufina

Realized Price
16,882,100 USD

Le Palais Ducal vu de Saint-Georges Majeur
Sold

Le Palais Ducal vu de Saint-Georges Majeur

Realized Price
16,479,952 USD