Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bruegelian Doings

A new Bruegel. Odd to write that some five hundred years after the painter's death. But last week we received notice of the re-emergence of  "The Wine of Saint Martin's Day," a painting that becomes the forty-first authenticated and signed work by the great 16h century Dutch genius. And at 5 ft by 9 ft, the largest.

Apparently, "unidentified Spanish collectors" brought the unattributed painting to the Prado for cleaning (how connected do you have to be to have the Prado clean your art?). Conservators at the venerable Madrid museum were astonished to discover that the painting was actually executed by the hand of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. His signature, buried beneath centuries of glue, resin, and dust, gradually came to light in the restoration process.

The Wine of St Martin's Day, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1560s

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