Jan Brueghel, Velvet Brueghel (1568–1625)
Jan Brueghel the Elder, nicknamed Velvet Brueghel, was a Flemish Baroque painter born in Brussels in 1568. He died on 13 January 1625 in Antwerp. The second and youngest son of Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Jan received the nickname “Velvet” due to his exceptional skill in shading and rendering textures. Brueghel travelled to many countries in Europe, notably Italy, where he struck up friendships with various patrons for whom he continued to work when he returned to the North, including Cardinal Federico Borromeo in Milan. He had a considerable reputation by this point, and worked with the most important artists of the period, notably Rubens (1577–1640).
Jan Brueghel is the painter who best reflects the transition from Mannerism to the Baroque. He was obsessed with accuracy and had a meticulous attention to detail, making him—in the eyes of the general public—one of the best painters of flowers in the Flemish School of the seventeenth century.
He is responsible for numerous flower paintings, a genre in which he excelled, as well as biblical compositions, allegorical paintings, mythological scenes, landscapes and several paintings of paradise, which were often produced on copper.