Of the entire dynasty of Flemish artists Brueghel, Jan Bruegel the Eldest is perhaps the most worthy successor to the family name - by the number of works, by success, by unsurpassed performance of flower still lifes, by friendship with influential and creative people, by the continuation of the dynasty of painters.
Jan Brueghel - the second son of the famous Dutch artist Peter Brueghel the Elder, was born in 1568 in Brussels. He lost his parents early. The father died when the boy was only 1 year old, and when he was 10 years old, his mother died. Yana was taken to Antwerp and brought up by her maternal grandmother, who, incidentally, was also an artist who painted miniatures with floral landscapes.
Ian was favored by the creative environment in which he found himself, and the boy enthusiastically comprehends the science of painting. He was lucky to learn from the Dutch painter Gillis van Koninksloo and the famous master Peter Goetkindt.
At the age of 21, Jan leaves for Italy, then visits Germany, France, gets acquainted and absorbs painting of national schools, then settles in Rome for 5 years. He makes friends with artists - Paul Bril and young Rubens, whose friendship is marked by common works, for example, the painting "Paradise" (1620) and others.
Significant in the fate of Jan Brueghel was his acquaintance in 1593 with Federico Borromeo, an archbishop, philanthropist who appreciated the talent of young Brueghel, who took patronage over him and with whom the artist will maintain friendly relations for the rest of his life.
And Jan’s abilities are already attracting public attention. The young man immediately refused to imitate his father Peter Brueghel the Elder, unlike his brother Peter Bruegel the Younger. The young artist has his own preferences in the plots and his own style. During this period of time, he writes on religious topics, and on folk (“plebeian”) motifs that were in fashion at that time, and his favorite floral still lifes.
Returning to Antwerp in 1597, Jan Brueghel the Elder enters his heyday. He is accepted into the honorary guild of artists named after St. Luke. In 1601 and 1602 - is the dean of this society.
He becomes a famous and popular painter. It is called "flower" for a huge number of paintings with flowers. Moreover, the author pays great attention to the smallest and smallest details, achieves complete naturalness by painting flowers from nature, sometimes even waiting for it to bloom.
Also often appears and the prefix to the name of Brueghel - "velvet". Thanks to the special, inherent performance of his work. Landscapes, people, houses, flowers - everything is picturesque, as if shimmering velvet with soft and warm colors, with “luxurious tenderness”.
In 1599 he marries, and his first son subsequently continues the dynasty of artists as Jan Brueghel the Younger, and grandchildren Abraham and Jan will also become masters of painting in the future.
In 1604, he visited Prague, at the invitation of the Bohemian King Rudolph II. Since 1606, he is a court painter of the Brussels court, chairman of various societies, a successful businessman, he has many royal orders from influential people and ordinary citizens.
He is famous not only for landscapes, but also for works on mythological themes and allegories of fire, sight and smell, taste, hearing. The artist is subject to all genres. His work with typical rural landscapes and scenes is magnificent - fish markets, leisure for simple families, paintings with travelers, houses and mills, Flemish fairs.
Unfortunately, the epidemic of cholera that reigned in Europe in January 1625, claimed the life of a talented and successful painter and his three youngest children. But his pleasant, "juicy", affectionate paintings delight people in our time.