Bruegel Defining a Dynasty

Exhibitions, Press

UK’s first exhibition devoted to the Bruegel dynasty includes newly discovered paintings in the Holburne Museum’s own collection
11 February to 4 June 2017
The Holburne Museum, Bath

The Holburne Museum is proud to announce the UK’s first exhibition devoted to the Bruegel dynasty, including recent attributions for two paintings from the Museum’s own collection. Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty will unravel the complex Bruegel family tree, revealing the originality and diversity of Antwerp’s famous artistic dynasty across four generations through 35 works, including masterpieces from the National Gallery, Royal Collection Trust, the National Trust, the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Ashmolean Museum and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Jennifer Scott, the Holburne’s Director and co-curator of the exhibition notes, ‘This exciting new exhibition not only shines a light on the quality of the Holburne Museum’s Flemish paintings, but also on the wealth of paintings by the Bruegel dynasty in the UK.’

A key work in the exhibition will be Wedding Dance in the Open Air, an oil painting from the Holburne’s own collection which, following conservation work and technical examination, can be attributed firmly to the hand of Pieter Brueghel the Younger. Previously thought to be the work of a copyist or follower of Brueghel, it now takes its place as the only version of this popular scene in a UK public museum. Together with Robbing the Bird’s Nest and the Visit to a Farmhouse, also featured in the exhibition, this new discovery makes the Holburne Museum the primary collection of Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s work in the UK.

The exhibition will also show the David Teniers the Younger’s Boy Blowing Bubbles from the Holburne’s own collection. Previously ascribed to ‘Imitator of David Teniers the Younger’, recent research undertaken by the Holburne Museum has revealed a new attribution to Teniers himself.

Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty is curated by the Holburne’s Director, Jennifer Scott, and Dr Amy Orrock, independent art historian and Bruegel specialist, and will provide the opportunity to understand and reimagine the Bruegel familial relationships, investigating the developments of the artists’ individual styles and the way in which they asserted both their artistic heritage and their independence. Visitors can compare the development of ‘Bruegelian’ iconography over 150 years, through works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, his sons Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder, their direct descendants (Jan van Kessel the Elder) and artists that married into the family (David Teniers the Younger). In particular, the exhibition will highlight Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s artistic talents, reinstating him as an important artist in his own right.

A book to accompany the exhibition Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty is written by Amy Orrock and published by Philip Wilson and will be on sale in the Holburne’s Gift Shop for £16.95.

Amy Orrock said, ‘Undertaking research for the exhibition and accompanying book has provided a wonderful opportunity to explore and celebrate the Bruegel dynasty in addition to making new discoveries.’

You can listen to the Museum’s Director, Jennifer Scott, discussing the new attributions on BBC R4’s Today Programme

Maev Kennedy covered the news at the Guardian

Principal Exhibition Sponsor
Bath Spa University

Exhibition Tickets on sale from January 2017

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Press Enquiries
For more information about the Holburne Museum, please contact:
Katie Jenkins | E: k.jenkins@holburne.org | T: +44 (0) 1225 388547

Listings information
Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty
11 February – 4 June 2017
£10 (£8.50 without donation) | £9 concessions (£7.50 without donation)
The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB
Open daily, free admission 10am to 5pm (11am to 5pm Sundays and Bank Holidays)
T: 01225 388569 | E: enquiries@holburne.org | www.holburne.org

About The Holburne Museum

The Holburne Museum’s mission statement is ‘Changing Lives Through Art’. This reflects our commitment to opening up the enjoyment of art to people of all ages and from every walk of life.

The Holburne Museum houses an important art collection formed by Sir William Holburne in the early nineteenth century, which includes paintings, silver, sculpture, furniture and porcelain of national and international significance. Artists in the collection include Gainsborough, Guardi, Stubbs, Ramsay and Zoffany and, following a successful fundraising campaign in 2016, the collection also includes an early oil sketch by Sir Thomas Lawrence.

The Museum reopened in May 2011 after ambitious renovations and a new extension by Eric Parry Architects. The Holburne has fast gained a reputation as an outstanding regional museum which holds critically acclaimed exhibitions.

• Winner of the Museums & Heritage Award for the re-display of the permanent collection.
• Winner of the RIBA Building of the Year, south west.
• Winner of the Civic Trust’s Michael Middleton Special Award for a restoration/extension project within a conservation area.

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