KOLLER View 1/22

3 Preview of the Old Master Paintings auction on 1 April 2022 A panopticon of everyday life Two of the highlights in our spring auction of Old Mas- ter Paintings are from the Brueghel dynasty of paint- ers. These important paintings by Pieter the Younger and Jan the Elder bear witness to a shift in the type of landscapes depicted by early 17 th century artists. While the pioneers of panel painting conceived the landscape as a set- ting for a biblical or mythological theme, the Brueghels’ land- scapes depict their contemporaries go- ing about their daily lives. JanBrueghel theElder takes us to a busy fish market (ill. 2). A Flem- ish harbour town, where a large crowd has gathered, forms the middle ground of this masterfully ar- ranged composition. The brilliantly staged lighting, which highlights several scenes at once, and the slightly elevated point of view make the town seem like a well-composed stage set. Abundant detail neatly embellishes each individual scene: the hustle and bustle of the market, the small world of the fishermen, all manner of animals and, of course, the many people engaged in various activities and conversations, make the painting a panopticon of everyday life. This work, painted on copper and in excellent condition, has remained in private hands for several generations and is only now returning to the market. Pieter Bruegel the Elder created the iconic subject of the ‘Bird trap’ as early as 1565. His son Pieter lat- er adopted it, creating many versions. In this one (ill. 1), the viewer looks at the scene from an elevated vantage point. The snow-covered winter landscape is crossed by a frozen river, a village is nearby and a larger town is silhouetted in the background. On the river, which dominates the left half of the picture, the 2 1 Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564–1638). Winter landscape with skaters and a bird trap.Circa1601.Oil onpanel. 37.5×56.6cm. Estimate: CHF 800 000/1 200 000 2 Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625). Harbour scene with fish market. 1605. Oil on copper. 17.4 × 27.3 cm. Estimate: CHF 300 000/400 000