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Newly Discovered drawing by Pieter Bruegel the Elder Unveiled in Antwerp

April 30, 2012

The drawing of a mountain landscape with two travellers is the first unknown drawing by Bruegel that has appeared since the 1970s. Pieter Bruegel de Oude, ca. 1558, Museum Mayer van den Bergh © Musea star Antwerpen.

Art Daily carries this story about a newly discovered drawing by Pieter Bruegel the Elder going on view June 16 at Antwerp’s Museum Mayer van den Bergh as part of the exhibition Pieter Bruegel Unseen! The Hidden Antwerp Collection.  Along with the drawing, the exhibition, on view through October 14, 2012, will feature the museum’s two paintings by the Flemish master: Dulle Griet (Mad Meg) and Twaalf Spreuken (Twelve Proverbs) and, for the first time ever, some 30 prints by Brueghel. Some additional details about the new discovery:

In late 2011, [Manfred] Sellink, curator of the exhibition, Director of Musea Brugge and for years a researcher of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s body of work, received a photo of a drawing from a private collector’s collection. Sellink and Martin Royalton-Kisch, former curator of the British Museum Department of Prints and Drawings, came to the conclusion, after a thorough study, that the landscape drawing belonging to the private collector could indeed be ascribed to Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Comparisons of the paper type with drawings from the same period and an ultraviolet light test lent weight to their conclusion. For example, it appeared that the newly discovered landscape drawing’s paper was of the same Italian origin as the paper that Bruegel used during his journey to and stay in Italy from 1552 to 1554. In addition, ultraviolet light made traces of a signature visible in the bottom left corner.

The drawing of a mountain landscape with two travellers is the first unknown drawing by Bruegel that has appeared since the 1970s. The landscape drawing has all of the characteristics (composition, image structure and drawing technique) of Bruegel’s self-drawn pieces from the 1552-1555 period.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Dulle Griet (Mad Meg)

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 30, 2012 9:59 AM

    How glorious! Thank you!

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