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Een Val van Icarus van Paul Bril en diens artistieke relaties met Hans Bol, Lodewijk Toeput en Jan Brueghel de Oude

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image of Oud Holland - Journal for Art of the Low Countries

A painting by the Flemish landscapist Paul Bril (Antwerp 1553/4-1626 Rome), which came up at auction in 1992, sheds a fresh light on his earliest development as a painter of cabinet pieces. Correspondences between this painting and a drawing, fresco and etching of 1590 by the same artist suggest that it was painted around 1590. The painting, a Fall of Icarus, bears a remarkable resemblance to a painting by Hans Bol dated 1567. Bol's coastal landscapes, as well as other landscape types, were probably the most important part of Bril's artistic stock-in-trade when he left for Italy in 1574. An insight into Bril's development around 1590 is a significant factor in defining his artistic relationship to noteworthy masters like Lodewijk Toeput and Jan Brueghel the Elder. In view of both Bril's and Brueghel's great influence on later landscapists, it is interesting to examine Bril's contribution to the development of the talented Antwerp artist, his junior by 17 years. The fact that both worked in the same Flemish tradition in the 1590s makes it difficult to establish the extent to which Bril influenced Brueghel or vice versa. Prior to Brueghel's arrival in Rome in 1592 Bril was already painting sophisticated cabinet pieces and had gained a considerable reputation for his pontifical frescoes. Until May 1595, when Brueghel left Rome to work for Federico Borromeo in Milan, his drawings and paintings reflect a rapid development in which Paul Bril may be deemed to have played a part.


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