A panel by Brueghel the Younger discovered during an inventory in Dijon sold for €744,000

by Diana Zorzi

Randomly discovered in an inventory, a previously unseen panel by Pieter Brueghel the Younger soared to €744,000 on May 15 at the Dijon auction house. This winter landscape with skaters and a bird trap sat dormant for ten years in a Dijon apartment.

It is easy to imagine the delight that its owners must have caused the daily contemplation of this panel that the eye never quite reaches, constantly caught up in minute details that until now had escaped their vigilance. To this wonder of each moment, an expertise was going to give it a name: the work that slept in this apartment in Dijon for ten years is none other than a landscape by Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564/1565-1636). The owners were unaware that within its walls was a masterpiece of Flemish painting from the 17th century.Y Century will soon be sold for €744,000 at the Dijon auction house.

One of the most popular compositions of the Brueghel dynasty

It was during a succession inventory, in winter, that this snowy landscape revealed its long-buried secrets. The painting, hanging in the living room, intrigued auctioneer Christophe Sadde for its high quality, who decided to entrust it to the expert hands of the Turquin firm. With spring and the first shoots, the verdict hatches. The expert Stéphane Pinta recognizes behind this Winter landscape with skaters and bird trap. the minute line of Pieter Brueghel the Younger. Between 1601 and 1626, the Flemish painter dedicated some forty versions to this theme, based on a composition imagined in 1565 by his father, Pierre Brueghel the Elder (1525-1569), now preserved in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts. Arts. from Brussels. ” It is undoubtedly one of the most popular compositions of the Brueghel dynasty, points out Stephane Pinta. The versions of Brueghel the Younger present slight variations in the chromatic range or in the appearance of the branches, for example. “.

A winter landscape with skaters and a bird trap.

Winter is hard. The people have put on their white robes that a clear sky, with multiple shades of blue, carpets. Between buildings and bare trees, a frozen river meanders, welcoming here the skaters in their red suits, there – the players with pucks and sticks, who surrender to the ancestor of hockey. The birds, aside from the entertainment, gather around a hatch, attracted by the seeds. They do not suspect that the rope pulled from the board will seal their prison. ” We wondered if it was an idealized valley or the representation of a specific place, explains Stephane Pinta. Historians recognize the village of Sint-Anna Pade, in Brabant, others see Antwerp Cathedral emerging from the city in the distance. But for some authors, beyond the description of a simple landscape, the scene could be the symbol of the precariousness of life. The carefree nature of the birds is combined with the reckless entertainment that the skaters indulge in, strolling on the ice drilled here and there. ” Some have also analyzed this image as an allegory of the occupation and the permanent threat of Spanish power. Free and independent in the glorious times of the free cities, the Flemish people, like birds destined for captivity, were now trapped, placed under Habsburg suzerainty.

Pierre Brueghel the Younger (1564/1565 – 1636). “The bird trap. » Oak parquet panel, 38 x 55 cm. Shot down for €744,000 (expenses included) by Sadde in Dijon. Appraised by the firm Turquin.

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