View of Heidelberg

Jan Brueghel the Elder (Netherlandish, Brussels 1568–1625 Antwerp)

ca. 1588–89
Pen and brown ink, brush and blue and brown washes, heightened with white; framing lines in pen and brown ink
7 7/8 x 12 in. (20.0 x 30.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, David T. Schiff Gift and Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1995
Accession Number:
  • Description

    This drawing, the earliest known by Jan Brueghel the Elder, records the city of Heidelberg seen from the west across the Neckar River. The castle appears as it did before additions were made between 1590 and 1592. Brueghel's sketch dates from about 1588-89, when the artist traveled from Antwerp to Italy, arrriving in Naples in 1590. The definition of forms with a combination of short, vertical lines in fine pen, which in places are blurred, and the broadly applied translucent washes are characteristic, as is the composition. Brueghel made several drawings of Heidelberg and used motifs from these travel sketches in paintings such as the Allegory of Spring of 1611 (private collection, Scotland), which shows Heidelberg castle as it appears in a copy after a drawing by Brueghel in the Kurpfalzisches sketchbook (Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart).

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Verso: at lower left, inscribed "P.Brugel" in graphite by a later hand

  • Provenance

    Reinier Willem Petrus de Vries (Amsterdam, 1841–1919)14 Dec. 1911, lot 1278 (?); Robert von Hirsch ; Sotheby's, London, June 20, 1978, vol. I, lot 29; Kate Ganz, Ltd.(1991); Sotheby's, AmsterdamNovember 17, 1993, lot 87; Vendor: Kate Ganz, Ltd.

  • Exhibition History

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," February 6, 1995–April 16, 1995.

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," May 3, 1999–July 25, 1999.

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," November 5, 2001–January 28, 2002.

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 24, 2005–April 24, 2005.

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions," October 24, 2008–February 1, 2009.

  • References

    Edmund Schilling Handzeichnung alter Meister aus Deutschem Privatbesitz. Edited by Georg Swarzenski, Frankfurt, 1924, cat. no. 33, XV, ill.

    Matthias Winner "Zeichnungen des Älteren Jan Brueghel." in the Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen. Berlin, 1961, fig. no. 14, pp. 204, 206, 21, ill.

    Ludwig Münz The Drawings of Bruegel Complete edition. London, 1961, cat. no. A35.

    Gisela Bergsträsser "Jan Brueghel the Elder: View of Rome." In Master Drawings. vol. 3, New York, 1965, pp. 262-263.

    Sotheby's, London The Robert von Hirsch Collection: Old Master Drawings, Paintings and Medieval Miniatures Sale cat. vol. 1, 1978, cat. no. 29, ill.

    Zeichnungen des 15. bis 18. Jahrhunderts. Ex. cat. Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 1984, p. 23.

    Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Die Renaissance im Deutschen Südwesten: zwischen Reformation und Dreißigjahrigem Krieg. Ex. cat. 1986, p. 363.

    Karel G. Boon The Netherlandish and German Drawings of the XVth and XVIth centuries of The Frits Lugt Collection. Collection Frits Lugt-Fondation Custodia, 1, Paris, 1992, p. 433.

    Sotheby's, Amsterdam Old Master Drawings: Dutch, Flemish amd German Drawings: Including the H.R. Bijl Collection. Sale catalogue. November 17, 1993, cat. no. 87, ill.

    Morgan Library & Museum The Thaw Collection: Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. Ex. cat. New York, 1994, p. 36.

    Carmen C. Bambach, Colta Ives, Suzanne Boorsch, Carolyn Logan, Perrin Stein "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1994-1995." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 53, no. 2, Fall 1995, p. 34, ill.

    Kurpfälzisches Skizzenbuch: Ansichten Heidelbergs und der Kurpfalz um 1600. Edited by Hans Hubach, 1996, fig. 1, pp. 11, 13, 25, ill.

    An Zwollo "Pieter Stevens: Nieuw Werk, Contact met Jan Brueghel, Invloed op Kerstiaen de Deuninck." Leids Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek. 1982, p. 96.

    Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Pieter Breughel der Jüngere - Jan Brueghel der Ältere: Flämische Malerei um 1600. Tradition und Fortschritt. Ex. cat. 1997-1998, cat. 146, pp. 39, 426-427, ill.

  • See also