This oil on copper by the Flemish painter Jan Brueghel the Elder dates from the early 16th century, when his views, forests and panoramic landscapes became more realistic and his work is rich in details of great technical quality. Throughout the 17th century nature had become the ideal setting for the depiction of gypsies, a wandering group that had been moving around Europe since the early 1400s. Brueghel depicts the subject by depicting a lush forest in the foreground, to the left of which opens diagonally into a wide valley painted in blue. The gypsy women are strategically positioned on a path of obligatory passage that allows them to approach passers-by and their wares. The one seated with the child in her arms covers her head with a bern, a circular hat made of a wicker base and interwoven fabrics, which was very characteristic of Gypsy women’s clothing until the mid-17th century. The rest of the women wear a simple scarf tied around their heads. Although Gypsy women were usually barefoot, Brueghel depicted them wearing shoes, with the exception of the boy who walks without shoes. Several of them carry walking sticks to help them on their way.
Project: 10. Churches and religions in Europe., 11. Science and culture as representation in Europe.
Resource type: Image
Format: Oil on copper foil, 36x43 cm
Source: Museo del Prado (Madrid)
Owner: Blanca Rodríguez Hernández (Modernalia)
Copyright: Museo del Prado (Madrid)
Abstract: Landscape with Figures in oil by Jan Brughel the Elder. Prado Museum (Madrid)Image