The Bruegel Success Story
Papers Presented at Symposium XXI for the Study of Underdrawing and Technology in Painting, Brussels, 12-14 September 2018
with contributions by L. Huet, S. Saverwyns, L. Depuydt-Elbaum, P. Fraiture, J.-A. Glatigny, A. Coudray, S. Brink, V. Bücken, A.H. Christensen, E. de la Fuente Pedersen, A. Daly, D. Buti, G. Pastorelli, J. Wadum, Y. Mori, Y.-F. You, E. Hanspach-Bernal, C. Bisulca, A. Steele, M. Postec, E.A. Honig, U. Neidhardt, M. Neumeister, E. Ortner, J. Schmidt, A. Orrock, L. Silver, E.M. Kavaler, A. Born, L. Campbell, H. Cuvelier, J.L. Edwards, P. Le Chanu, P. Maclot, T.L. Meganck, J. Muylle, D. van Heesch, I. Moortgat, L. Watteeuw, M. Van Bos, J. Van Grieken, M. Bassens, B. Vandermeulen, H. Hameeuw & G. Vandendriessche
Yet another book on Bruegel?
This new collection of essays promises to be different. It takes a fresh look at some of Bruegel’s best-loved works, as well as those of his sons, contemporaries and followers.
The authors play detective, tracking down clues gleaned from scientific imagery, archival sources and close-up viewing. The revealing of a signature in the oil sketch of the Strife between Carnival and Lent, the discovery of the true date of the Dulle Griet and a unexpected watermark in a drawing of the latter painting resolve old questions and raise new ones. But ‘close viewing’ also implies the search for seemingly insignificant details that can identify the owners of these works, as in the Census at Bethlehem, and technical and compositional clues that shed light on the question of authenticity, as in Bruegel’s famous ‘tuchlein’, the Adoration of the Magi. These approaches rely on the quality of the visual evidence and in this respect the book steps up to the mark with its rich illustrations.
The Bruegel Success Story international conference at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels in September 2018 was the stage for the first presentation of the ideas behind the essays in the book. There is a rich diversity of themes, which range from the making, meaning, copying and emulating the art of Pieter Bruegel the Elder to the Bruegel network and legacy.
The book also includes Belgian psychologist Gaston Vandendriessche’s († 2002) fascinating essay on the Dulle Griet, never published before, which gives a radical interpretation of its mysterious and somewhat disturbing iconography.