List of all exhibits. Click on one of them to go to the exhibit page. The topics allow exhibits to be selected by their concept categories. On the right, you can choose the settings of the list view.

The list below shows links between exhibits in a non-standard way. The points denote the exhibits and the connecting lines are connections between them, according to the selected categories.

Enter the end dates in the windows in order to set the period you are interested in on the timeline.

Views: 3963
(Votes: 2)
The average rating is 5.0 stars out of 5.
Print metrics
  • Author Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564—1638)
  • Date of production beginning of the 17th century
  • Dimensions height: 102 cm, width: 169 cm
  • ID no. MNK-XIIA-619
  • Museum The National Museum in Kraków
  • Branch The Europeum Centre for European Culture
  • Subjects religion, painted, famous people
  • Technique oil painting
  • Material board
  • Acquired date purchased in 1963
  • Object copyright The National Museum in Kraków
  • Digital images copyright public domain
  • Digitalisation The National Museum in Kraków
  • Tags painting , 2D , public domain
Print description

Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564-1638) is known mainly as a copyist of his father's paintings, Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525/30-1569), who was one of the greatest Dutch painters of the 2nd half of the 16th century. In his works, he created a coherent picture of nature and the world of people. The Kraków painting, the Preaching of Saint John the Baptist, was painted by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, based on his father's original from 1566, which is now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.

more

Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564-1638) is known mainly as a copyist of his father's paintings, Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525/30-1569), who was one of the greatest Dutch painters of the 2nd half of the 16th century. In his works, he created a coherent picture of nature and the world of people. The Kraków painting, the Preaching of Saint John the Baptist, was painted by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, based on his father's original from 1566, which is now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.
The subject of the painting was taken from the Gospel of St. Luke (3.1–7); it was used by the artist to present contemporary events (under the pretext of the biblical scene). It refers to secret religious assemblies with the participation of wandering Protestant preachers that took place in forest glades or in other secluded places outside the city, in the Catholic Netherlands, ruled by the Hapsburgs. The painting depicts a crowd of listeners, dressed in clothes contemporary to the artist, gathered in a small forest glade. On the high ground in the background, you can see the figure of the prophet in a brown robe, preaching a sermon and pointing to a figure of Christ in blue clothing.
The artist composed the painting in such a way, that, while standing in front of it, we have the impression that we are participating in the event and are a part of the crowd of listeners. Above the heads of the people, a view of a vast landscape, with mountains and a winding river in the background, opens in front of our eyes. This river is the equivalent of the evangelical Jordan, the place where Christ was baptized by Saint John the Baptist.
We may assume that Pieter Brueghel portrayed himself as an old man with a white beard, surrounded by his family, in a group of figures sitting on a hillside, to the right of the painting.

Elaborated by Dorota Dec (The National Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

less

“Columbus egg”, that is, about drawing the thinnest line in painting

An ancient historian from the 1st century — Pliny the Elder — in his 37-volume encyclopedia titled Natural history, compiled knowledge gathered from works of about 200 authors, thanks to which he preserved the echoes of lost writings and information about the Greek world for posterity, which included many stories concerning art. It was he who repeated the now famous anecdote about the dispute between Apelles — the greatest painter of his time — and another representative of this craft: Protogenes. Apelles — once he had heard of the fame of his competitor — went to Rhodes to see his works. However, he did not find the painter at home, while a board ready to be painted was set on the easel, watched by an old woman. When she asked Apelles who was visiting, the painter grabbed the brush and drew an extremely thin line through the centre of the painting, then he replied: “That’s who.”

more

An ancient historian from the 1st century — Pliny the Elder — in his 37-volume encyclopedia titled Natural history, compiled knowledge gathered from works of about 200 authors, thanks to which he preserved the echoes of lost writings and information about the Greek world for posterity, which included many stories concerning art.
It was he who repeated the now famous anecdote about the dispute between Apelles — the greatest painter of his time — and another representative of this craft: Protogenes. Apelles — once he had heard of the fame of his competitor — went to Rhodes to see his works. However, he did not find the painter at home, while a board ready to be painted was set on the easel, watched by an old woman. When she asked Apelles who was visiting, the painter grabbed the brush and drew an extremely thin line through the centre of the painting, then he replied: “That’s who.” When Protogenes came back and heard the story about what had apparently occurred, he immediately recognized the opponent. He took the brush and drew an even thinner line through the middle of the painting using another colour. He ordered the old woman to present the picture to Apelles by saying, “this is the one he is looking for”. When he arrived the next day and saw that he had been defeated, he drew an even thinner line through the middle of his opponent’s line using the third colour. The line was so thin, that he could not be defeated. Once Protogenes had seen the painting, he paid tribute to the winner. The board — on which only three intersecting lines had been painted — was given to posterity to admire the highest artistry. Unfortunately, the work was not preserved, because it was destroyed in a fire at Caesar’s house in 4 BC. There is nothing strange about the fact that the craft’s quality and the mastery of a painter was measured by the thickness of the drawn line. Drawing was the first stage of creating a painting, and learning this skill was the basis of painting. Each character and object was contoured. The line created shapes which were later filled with colour, making them spacious and deep; the hair structure was drawn with a line. As an aside, this method was opposed only by Leonardo da Vinci, who questioned the existence of a contour in nature, and thus its use in painting at the end of the 15th century.
Was it possible to go further than Apelles and cut through the thinnest painting line? Yes. The proverbial “Columbus egg” — a simple solution to a difficult issue — were the Concetto spaziale (from Italian “spatial concept”) paintings by Lucio Fontana from the mid-1950s. The artist cut the canvas, creating the thinnest possible line on its surface. At the same time, he created a spatial work out of a two-dimensional plane. Interestingly, the relationship between these two paintings becomes much more evident once the description of the painting — created as a consequence of the ancient artists’ dispute according to Pliny the Elder — is quoted and compared with the works of Fontana:

It was great and contained nothing but lines, almost invisible, so that it might seem empty when juxtaposed with the exquisite works of other artists, but that was the reason why it caught the eye and looked more noble than any other painting.

 

Check the meaning of the line and the outline in the following paintings on the website of Malopolska’s Virtual Museums, Triptych of St. Mary Magdalene; the icon Our Lady Hodegetria.

Elaborated by Paulina Kluz (Editorial Team of Malopolskas Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

Bibliography: 
Myśliciele, kronikarze i artyści o sztuce. Od starożytności do 1500, oprac. Jan Białostocki, Warszawa 1988.

less

Painting “The Sermon of St. John the Baptist” by Pieter Brueghel the Younger

Pictures

Links

Game

See also


Recent comments

Add comment: