Sylvan Landscape with Five Bears

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Sylvan Landscape with Five Bears
Pieter Bruegel was one of the most distinguished painters and draughtsmen of the 16th century. His familiarity with Italian art encouraged Bruegel to create independent art, unburdened by traditional norms. His Alpine drawings are not imaginary compositions (like those drawn up by his predecessors), but faithful landscape representations. After returning to Antwerp in 1555, he worked for the publisher Hieronymus Cock. Wooded Landscape with Five Bears is also linked with the name of this engraver. The traces of engraving in the drawing indicate its use as a model for a print. In the past, the drawing was attributed to R. Savery or regarded to be a considerably re−worked copy of an etching by H. Cock produced in Jan Bruegel’s circle or under his influence; however, more recent literature no longer doubts Bruegel the Elder’s authorship. Scholars point out the drawing’s originality and its relation to the artist’s other prints that are close in style and date of creation. Influenced by Venetian painting, Bruegel introduced into Netherlandish art a new type of wooded landscape here, in which the sensitive treatment of light is combined with a new expressive linear rhythm. The drawing of a landscape with a river and a city (Antwerp?) on the verso of the sheet offers a unique opportunity to appreciate in the immediacy of Bruegel’s sketch.
measurements: height 275 mm
width 411 mm
in collections:
material: light brown paper (rather brownish, restored)
technique: pen and brown ink
inventory number: K 4493
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings