Thursday, July 31, 2008


Not attributed to Peter Bruegel the Younger but to his circle of followers, this oil on panel, stamped on the reverse with the coat-of-arms of the city of Antwerp and the maker's mark of Guilliam Gabron, is entitled The Bird Trap.

The Bird Trap was also painted par Peter Bruegel the Elder and it is thought that the prototype for this composition is a painting by Pieter II's father, Pieter Bruegel I, signed and dated 1565, in the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. But there were a large number of replicas of this picture and the fact is not absolutely certain.

The eldest son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, the young Pieter Bruegel (1564-1638) studied first under his grandmother, the miniaturist Maria Verhulst, and then in Antwerp. He painted largely in the manner of his father and even copied many of his works which were themselves copied by his followers like this picture shows.

Far from being snubed by the amateurs, this kind of painting is very much sought after by the public ; it went on auction in July 2008 at Christie's in London and was estimated for a maximum of 29,000 dollars. It eventually fetched the more impressive sum of $ 154,227.

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