Inventory number
Brueghel “the Elder”, Jan; Momper II, Joos de
Flemish Market and Washing Place
Ca. 1620
166 cm x 194 cm
Genre and Society
On display
Royal Collection (La Zarzuela Palace, El Pardo-Madrid, “retrete de la reina”, 1701, s.n.; La Zarzuela Palace, “pieza quinta o galería del rey”, 1747, n. 67; New Royal Palace, Madrid, “primera pieza-cuarto nuevo de la serenísima infanta”, 1772, n. 985; New Royal Palace, Madrid, “pieza de tocador”, 1794, n. 985; Royal Palace, Madrid, “callejón de paso a las tribunas”, 1814-1818, n. 985)

This excellent example of the collaboration between Brueghel and Momper depicts simple rural life in Flanders, joining the genre of landscape painting with that of everyday life. The groups of figures were made by Brueghel, while Momper painted the landscape, with his characteric violet tonalities in the background.

Here, Momper abandons his broad panoramas in favor of a more realistic perspective closer to the work of Dutch landscape painters and much more in keeping with the true nature of the Low Countries. Brueghel based his group of villagers on very well-known models from scenes of country life by his father, Pieter Brueghel “the Elder” (Ca. 1525/30 - 1569). The collaboration of the two painters perfectly captures the bustling city market, in contrast with the placid —even visually— laundry at the right of the composition. The open countryside in the background adds to this painting's profound sensation of tranquility.

This work is documented in the Royal Collection since at least 1700, when it hung in the Zarzuela Palace.

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