Brueghel, John

, known, from his favourite dress, by the name of Velvet Brueghel, or Feuweeler, was the son of Peter Brueghel the old, and consequently brother to the preceding. He was born at Brussels, in 1560, and was instructed, probably by his father, and by other artists; but, whoever were his instructors, he acquired an eminence in every art of painting; in colouring, in design, and in pencilling, far superior to that of his father, and of all his contemporaries in his style. He began with painting flowers and fruit, which he executed with admirable skill; and then proceeded to landscapes, sea-ports, and markets, in which he introduced a number of small figures, surprisingly exact and correctly drawn. At Cologne, where | he resided for some time, he gained an extraordinary reputation; and his pictures were well known and admired in Italy, in which country he spent some time. He died, according to the most probable accounts, in 1625. That the industry of this artist must have been singular, sufficiently appears from the number and variety of his pictures, and the exquisite neatness and delicacy of their execution. It has been lamented, however, by connoisseurs, that his distances are overcharged with a bluish tinge. Brueghel often decorated the pictures of his friends with small figures, thus greatly enhancing their value; he was employed in painting flowers, fruits, animals, and landscape scenery, in the pieces of history-paintings; and in this way Rubens made occasional use of his pencil. He sometimes joined this master in larger works, which have been much admired; and particularly in a “Vertumnus and Pomona,” a picture three feet high and four broad, highly commended by Houbraken, and sold at Amsterdam for above 2SOl. sterling; and “a Terrestrial Paradise,” painted for Charles I. king of England. In the gallery of the archiepiscopal palace at Milan, there is an admirable landscape of Brueghel, representing a desert, in which Giovanna Battista Crespi painted the figure of St. Jerom; and among a great number preserved in the Ambrosian library in that city, there is an oval picture of the Virgin, painted by Rubens, which is encompassed by a garland of flowers admirably executed by Brueghel. Most considerable cabinets possess specimens of the art of this master. Some small engravings of landscapes, &c. are also ascribed to Brueghel. 1


Pilkington. —Strutt. Argenville.