Jan Brueghel

The life and work of Jan Breughel the Younger, 1601 – 1678

Jan was born as the eldest son of Jan Breughel the Elder and Isabella de Jode in Antwerp in 1601. Together with his half-brother Ambrosius, Jan was trained as a painter by his father, who himself came from a large family of painters.

In 1622, Jan Brueghel left for Rome where he was taken in by friends of his father’s former employer, Cardinal Federico Borromeo.  Jan stayed in various places in Italy.  When his father dies, Jan returns to Antwerp via France to take over his father’s studio. Jan Brueghel registered as freemaster with the Guild of St. Luke and was even elected dean there in 1630, just like his father. He worked together with many other painters, including Peter Paul Rubens, Hendrick van Balen and his father-in-law Abraham Janssens.

On 05 July 1626 Jan marries Anna-Maria Janssens and together they have 11 children, 7 sons and 4 daughters. Five of the seven boys also became painters, including Jan Pieter and Abraham Breughel.

Like his father, son Jan painted landscapes, fables, garlands and even copied his father’s paintings, including his father’s signature. In 1640, Jan Brueghel switched to the technique of Daniel Segers, a pupil of his father, who had found another way and was very successful with it. He put even more refinement and meticulousness into it than before and is very successful with it.

When Jan has a disagreement with an embroiderer in 1672, he gets injured in his eye and has to give up painting.

Jan died on 01 September 1678 at his home address on Pruymenstraat in Antwerp.

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