BRUEGHEL, Jan the Elder
(b. ca. 1568, Brussel, d. 1625, Antwerpen)
Panoramic Landscape with Travellersc. 1610
Oil on copper, 22 x 33 cm
Jan Brueghel the Elder was arguably the most important European artist to have painted on copper. Certainly he was one of the most prolific - approximately half of his oeuvre was painted on this support and the majority of these works are, like the present painting, landscapes.
Brueghel depicts here an assortment of peasants, merchants and travellers set within a delicately rendered landscape, framed on the left by a forest and opening up on the right to a panoramic view of a distant city. The most striking feature of this landscape is the extraordinary sense of perspective that the artist creates within the composition, an accomplishment that is all the more remarkable given the small scale of the work.