CLEVE, Marten van I
(b. ca. 1527, Antwerpen, d. ca, 1581, Antwerpen)

Outdoor Wedding Dance

1570s
Oil on oak panel, 77 x 105 cm
Private collection

The inspiration for several motifs in this painting would appear to derive from Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Wedding Dance today in the Detroit Institute of Arts. However, van Cleve treated the subject, which was very popular in the 16th century, in an independent way.

Van Cleve has created a more spacious arrangement and has made the bride and groom the focal point of the dance. He expanded his composition into a more realistic vista, in which the horizon line has been dropped to open out the landscape.