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Sight and Smell
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
Francken II, Frans; Balen, Hendrick Van; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
Sight and Smell
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
Francken II, Frans; Balen, Hendrick Van; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

This canvas and its companion, Taste, Hearing and Touch (P1404), represent the five senses embodied by female figures in palatial interiors. The sense of smell is conveyed by a woman holding flowers, while Sight contemplates herself in a mirror held by a cherub. They are located in a hall filled with paintings and sculptures, a sort of cabinet of paintings that could reflect an idealized represent

Taste, Hearing and Touch
Oil on unlined canvas. Ca. 1620
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
Taste, Hearing and Touch
Oil on unlined canvas. Ca. 1620
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

The dinner guests occupying the center of the composition symbolize the senses. Music and the singing children are hearing, and the young woman petting a mink is touch. The young woman preparing to eat some oysters symbolizes taste, while the monkey pulling on a cupid´s hair also symbolizes touch. Of equal significance are the animals and paintings in the room. The Annunciation on the top of the c

Abundance and the Four Elements
Oil on panel. Ca. 1615
Balen, Hendrick Van; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
Abundance and the Four Elements
Oil on panel. Ca. 1615
Balen, Hendrick Van; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

Abundance, personified by Ceres, goddess of fertility and agriculture, sits in front of a thicket of reeds at the edge of a forest. She has adorned her hair with wheat spikes -her attribute- and bears the horn of plenty under her left arm. Earth sits at her feet, offering her one of her fruits, she is personified by Flora, goddess of the earth and also of spring, which explains the flowers in her

Vase of Flowers
Oil on panel. First quarter of the XVII century
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
Vase of Flowers
Oil on panel. First quarter of the XVII century
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

The inclusion of insects in floral still lifes gave them a powerful sense of reality and lifelikeness. Here Brueghel also included a frog and an object that may be an egg or possibly a bezoar, a concretion found in the intestines of certain animals which was believed to have curative powers.

Vase of Flowers
Oil on copperplate. XVII century
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
Vase of Flowers
Oil on copperplate. XVII century
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

Tres rosas y cinco tulipanes se combinan con florecillas de Narcissus tazetta y Myosotis scorpioides; una coccinela, una mariposa, un insecto y un gusano dan vida a este conjunto que repite, con variantes, los originales de Brueghel de Velours en las colecciones R. Green de Londres, Wingfield castle, y colección Turkow de la Haya. El gusano, los capullos, crisálidas y mariposas que, recién nacida

Abundance with the Four Elements
Oil on copperplate. 1606
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel); Clerck, Hendrik de
Abundance with the Four Elements
Oil on copperplate. 1606
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel); Clerck, Hendrik de

In this painting, Ceres, goddess of agriculture and fertility, is surrounded by fruits and flowers, pictured as the personification of Abundance holding the horn of plenty in her hands. The history of the horn of plenty is taken from two texts by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BCE-CE 17/18), Metamorphoses (IX, 80-100) and Book of Days (V, 121-24). The idea of prosperity is completed by the personificatio

Garland with the Virgin and Child and two Angels
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1619
Procaccini, Giulio Cesare; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
Garland with the Virgin and Child and two Angels
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1619
Procaccini, Giulio Cesare; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

Mary holds the Christ Child in one arm, holding one of his feet with the other. Behind them, two angels look on. One looks at the viewer in a request for silence and reflection upon the image. The scene is framed by an abundant garland of flowers. This work is the result of a collaboration between Jan Brueghel, who made one of his most exuberant floral works, and Giulio Cesare Procaccini. It was p

The Virgin and Child in a Painting surrounded by Fruit and Flowers
Oil on panel. 1617 - 1620
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
The Virgin and Child in a Painting surrounded by Fruit and Flowers
Oil on panel. 1617 - 1620
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

Jan Brueghel’s compositions with garlands surrounding holy figures were a reaction against Protestant ideas that refuted the cult of images. In the centre of the composition is a painted image of the Virgin, which hangs from the garland. The figures of Mary and the Christ Child were painted by Rubens.

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