Offered by Galerie Thierry Matranga
Old paintings, religious artifacts, archeology
Flemish school, 17th century. Oil on paper mounted on panel.
From the heights of a snow-covered hill - which is none other than the Pincio hill in Rome - on which peasants are busy with their work, we see the famous Piazza del Popolo on which a crowd of people is bustling. This central square is the scene of a winter festival: the carnival. Everyone is having fun in their own way: in the streets, some are riding in sleighs while others are racing on horseback. In the center of the square, characters have gathered around the Flaminio obelisk to dance, play pranks and play ring toss. Taking part in the festivities, children play music while two of their peers relieve themselves behind them. In this way, the artist delivers a dual vision of winter: the urban entertainment taking place in the center is matched by the two landscapes in the foreground and background. A low-angled light illuminates the scene with yellow and pink reflections all the way to the distant hills, creating at the same time a clear play of cast shadows and backlighting on the architectural elements of the city.
Following the Flemish tradition, our painter confers realism to his work by composing from a point of view lowered to human height. Not trying to embrace the entire world, he gives us to see a fragment of life located halfway between the genre scene and the landscape.
The artist delivers here a personal interpretation of a work by Paul Bril representing the months of January and February within a calendar series translated into engraving by Aegidius Sadeler II in 1615. While Paul Bril's long trip to Italy led him to paint rather solemn figures, our artist prefers the popular figures and comical situations characteristic of Flemish genre painting since Pieter Brueghel the Elder.
We have chosen to present this painting in a blackened wood frame with an inverted profile.
Dimensions : 38 x 56 - 52 x 70,5 cm with the frame
Biography: Following an early apprenticeship in Antwerp with Damiaan Wortelmans, Paul Bril (Antwerp, c. 1554 - Rome, Oct. 7, 1626) went to join his brother Mathijjs in Rome in 1574, to assist him with his papal commissions. His first autographed works date from the late 1580s; they are mostly monumental frescoes for the Vatican. A landscape painter trained in the Antwerp tradition, his style gained in autonomy at the end of the 16th century through contact with Italy and its artists. Abandoning the dramatic effects of the Frankenthal school, he developed a more harmonious and calm style of painting in which classical architecture and ruins play an important role. Renowned throughout Italy, he was elected a senior member of the Academy of St. Luke in Rome in 1620 and his works were collected by the most eminent figures of his time.
- GIBSON, Walter S., Mirror of the Earth? the World Landscape in Sixteenth-Century Flemish Painting, Princeton, Princeton University press.
- THIERY, Yvonne, Les peintres flamands de paysage au XVIIe siècle: des précurseurs à Rubens, Brussels, Lefèbvre et Gillet, 1988.
- VLIEGHE, Hans, Flemish Art and Architecture: 1585 - 1700, Yale University Press, 1998.
- WOOD RUBY, Louisa, Paul Bril: The drawings, Belgium, Brepols, 1999.
13 500 €