Brueghel the Younger Pieter, “Payment of the tithe”, early 1620s

Pieter BRUEGHEL THE YOUNGER

(Brussels, 1564 - 1638, Antwerp)

Payment of the tithe

162Os

Oil on panel, 55.3 x 85 cm

Signed and dated: "P. Breughel 162..."

Presentation

The painting “The payment of the tithe”, signed and dated by the author, is one of Pieter Brueghel’s most popular compositions, of which both the artist and his workshop have produced multiple versions. Very few of those paintings are signed and dated. Nowadays only nineteen such works have preserved, dated from 1615 – 1630. Brueghel does not idealize the everyday life of peasants, he conveys a purely realistic vision of common people; his style is easily recognizable by the meticulously polished technique and majestic colours. The scene depicts a tax collector’s office where people have gathered to pay their duties to the authorities, being forced to give away their last possessions. The work was boldly socio-critical in its time.

This painting used to belong to the Veil-Picard family for several centuries and will amaze the viewer by its perfect condition. Arthur-Georges Veil-Picard (1854 – 1944) took great interest in collecting the drawings and paintings of old masters and during his life he donated numerous paintings to several French museums and collections.

Provenance:

Important private collection, Zürich, Switzerland

Bibliography:

P. van den Brink (red.), cat. tent. De Firma Brueghel, Maastricht (Bonnefantenmuseum)/Brussels (Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België) 2001-2002, p. 173-185: IV: De boerenadvocaat C. Currie en D. Allart, The Brueg[H]el Phenomenon. Paintings by Pieter Brueghel The Elder and Pieter Brueghel The Younger with a special focus on technique and copying practice, Brussels 2012, dl. II, p. 670-711: Case Study 10: copies of the Peasant Lawyer after an anonymous model;

Exhibition’s catalogue “Art Rules”, Tallinn, 2015

Exhibitions:

“Art Rules” organized by Art-Life Project in Tallinn Town Hall, 5 June 2015 – 5 October 2015, Estonia

“Old masters: image and symbol. Paintings from the 15 to the 17th century from private collections”, Artcentre.Moscow, 2019 – 2020

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