JAN BRUEGHEL THE ELDER
MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE WITH PILGRIMS IN A GROTTO CHAPEL
The ‘grotto landscape’, that is, paintings whose composition is dominated by the motif of a rocky grotto, cave or natural rocky arch (arco naturale), is an imaginative speciality of Flemish landscape painting. Around 70 paintings of this type by de Momper the Younger, regarded as the most important exponent of this genre, are extant today. His grottos serve saints or hermits as retreats, provide a foil for mythological subjects or – as in this case – are places of pilgrimage where the travellers tarry awhile to rest and offer up a prayer. The staffage in this painting was executed by Jan Brueghel the Elder. De Momper’s grotto landscapes ultimately derive from the hermitages of Cornelis van Dalem (before 1534–1573) and the work of Jan Brueghel the Elder (1.3) and Paul Bril (1554–1626)
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Jan Brueghel the Elder
Mountain Landscape with Pilgrims in a Grotto Chapel, c. 1616
Oil on wood
Hohenbuchau Collection, Inv.-No. HB-60
Further works on display
Landscape with Young Tobias, 1598
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Hohenbuchau Collection
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