BRUEGHEL, Jan the Elder
(b. ca. 1568, Bruxelles, d. 1625, Antwerpen)

Bouquet in a Clay Vase

1607-08
Oil on panel, 66 x 49 cm
Private collection

This still-life with irises, tulips, roses, narcissi and fritillary in a ceramic vase is an autograph version of one of Jan Brueghel the Elder's best-known compositions. Executed in 1607-08 concurrent with, or shortly after, the small version in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, it is one of Brueghel's earliest works. The composition is typical of the years 1605-10 when Brueghel painted a small number of similarly composed bouquets emanating from ceramic vases. All of these are characterized by an exceptionally high level of execution in the blooms themselves. Most, too, were 'finished' by a talented assistant.