Entrance to Noah's Ark by Jan Brueghel the Younger

Entrance to Noah's Ark by Jan Brueghel the Younger
Entrance to Noah's Ark by Jan Brueghel the Younger

This work of art, of which there are several copies, is a good example of how artists survived in other times, especially those who formed authentic family sagas and although all were good at their craft, not all really reached genius category. That is the case of the Flemish lineage of los Brueghel.


Noah Leading the Animals by Jan Brueghel the Younger

Of this saga, truly the greatest of all was the first, Pieter Brueghel (1525 – 1569), author of true masterpieces of northern European art, such as example The Hay Harvest or The Villager's Wedding.

This painter had two artist sons: Pieter and Jan. The first was renamed Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564 – 1638), to differentiate himself from his father, while the second was known as Jan Brueghel de Velours. What is evident is that both continued to paint according to the guidelines of their father, both in terms of style and subject matter, something that can be seen in works such as The Country Wedding by Pieter Brueghel the Younger or the Allegory of the View of his brother Jan

It may seem a bit confusing, but there is more. Jan in turn had a son, who also dedicated himself to painting, and who also gave him the same name, so both became known as Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568 – 1625) and the Younger (1601 – 1678), respectively. The goal wasto continue taking advantage of the fame of his surname and the successful formulas so that sales would not stop. And as an example this copper plate painted in oil byJan Brueghel the Youngeraround 1630, which is still a copy of an original made by his father a few years earlier, in 1613.

The image of the Entrance to Noah's Ark had been a very successful painting, and so numerous copies were made in the family workshop. And that success was due both to the pictorial quality of the work and its exotic theme.

It is necessary to highlight the composition based on a tree without leaves, which serves both to pose numerous birds there, and to separate the aquatic environment from the terrestrial one. On the other hand, this is how you can distinguish that tree from the forest in the background, which will undoubtedly be flooded by the Universal Flood.

And in a clearing we see the Ark, as well as Noah, his wife and his daughter leading the animals towards it. They form a diagonal that runs through the image, and we see more common animals such as horses, oxen or deer, to other more attractive ones such as lions, leopards, camels, monkeys… A most bucolic scene, and very similar to others by Brueghel where there are many details to delight in and where the narrative sense of the scenes is a real hallmark.

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