JAN BRUEGHEL THE YOUNGER
1601 – Antwerp – 1678
Jan Brueghel the Younger was the eldest son of the celebrated flower and landscape painter Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625) and grandson of Pieter Breugel the Elder (c.1525/30-1569). He was baptized in Antwerp on 13th September 1601.
Jan trained in his father’s workshop. As early as 1616 Jan the Elder had planned a visit to Italy for Jan II, who had just had his fifteenth birthday, as we know from letters to Ercole Bianchi in Milan, but Jan was only able to commence this visit in May 1622. However, his father would not have felt that the fifteen year old lad could undertake the visit if he had not reached the level of training required. This is something that is of considerable significance for the dating of paintings by Jan Brueghel the Younger. At the beginning of 1625, Jan the Younger learned in Palermo of the death of his father in an Antwerp cholera epidemic. He returned home by the speediest route to take over his father’s workshop. On August 12th 1625 he became a member of the St Luke’s Guild of Painters in Antwerp; in 1626 he married the daughter of the renowned painter Abraham Janssens (1567- 1632). In 1630 Jan became Dean of the prestigious ‘De Violiere’ rhetoric society. About the same time he became Dean of the St Luke’s Guild. After a life full of both successes and failures, Jan Brueghel the Younger died on 1st September 1678.