BRUEGHEL, Jan the Elder
(b. ca. 1568, Brussel, d. 1625, Antwerpen)
Orpheus in the Underworld1594
Oil on copper, 27 x 36 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence
Known for his flower paintings, Jan, like his father Pieter the Elder, also made underworld landscapes, reviving a recurrent taste for the hallucinatory. The musician Orpheus is attempting to persuade Hades and Proserpina to release Euridice, his lover. His backward glance foreshadows the tale's ending.