Study works Pieter II Brueghel in Arbroath

Two little-known paintings by Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564-1637/8) were the reason behind a mission to the harbour town of Arbroath in Scotland by Christina Currie, KIK-IRPA’s expert on the artist’s work. The paintings were given to Arbroath in the nineteenth century by two local benefactors. The Adoration of the Magi was bequeathed by James Rait of Anniston at some point before 1867 and the Sermon of St John the Baptist in 1876 by James Renny of Edinburgh around the time of the opening of the New Art Gallery in Arbroath in August 1876.

Thanks to the enthusiastic collaboration of Gill Ross and John Johnston from ANGUSalive Museums and Galleries, who supervised the work and organised the removal of the protective frames in front of the paintings, Christina Currie was able to spend a day in the Arbroath Art Gallery examining the works and taking a wealth of high resolution photographic details. These will be compared with other versions of the compositions she has already studied. Further on-site research is planned pending funding.  

Together with the , West Yorkshire, these paintings are the only examples of Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s large-scale panel painting in a British public collection.