Entry of the Animals into the Ark

Jan Brueghel I (1568-1625)

Born in Brussels, the son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, he was a versatile painter of landscapes, flower pieces and allegorical subjects. There are six works by Brueghel in the Wellington Collection, five on display to the public.

His paintings are jewel-like and meticulous. This work is only 26cm by 37cm and painted on copper. It is a testament to Brueghel’s skill in depicting animals – note the array of birds and small animals in the foreground.

Several of the animals were inspired by Rubens, with whom Bruegel was a close friend and collaborator. The horse is derived from Rubens’ painting ‘Riding School’.