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Home / Great Artists / B / Pieter Bruegel the Younger / Biography
Biography Pieter Bruegel the Younger

Pieter Bruegel the Younger Biography


c.1564-1638


Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter


Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564 or 1565 - October 10, 1636) was a Flemish painter, known for numerous copies after his father Pieter Brueghel the Elder's paintings and nicknamed "Hell Brueghel" for his fantastic treatments of fire and grotesque imagery.

Pieter Brueghel the Younger was the oldest son of the famous sixteenth-century Netherlandish painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder (known as "Peasant Brueghel") and Mayken Coecke van Aelst. His father died in 1569, when Pieter the younger was only five years old. Then, following the death of his mother in 1578, Pieter, along with his brother Jan Brueghel the Elder ("Velvet Brueghel") and sister Marie, went to live with their grandmother Mayken Verhulst (widow of Pieter Coecke van Aelst). She was an artist in her own right, and according to Carel van Mander, possibly the first teacher of the two sons. The family moved to Antwerp sometime after 1578 and Pieter possibly entered the studio of the landscape painter Gillis van Coninxloo (1544-1607). In the 1584/1585 registers of Guild of Saint Luke, "Peeter Brugel" is listed as an independent master. On November 5, 1588 he married Elisabeth Goddelet, and the couple had seven children.

He painted landscapes, religious subjects and fantasy paintings. For this last category he often made use of fire and grotesque figures, leading to his nickname "Hell Brueghel".

Apart from these paintings of his own invention, Pieter Brueghel the Younger also copied the works his father had created by using a technique called pouncing. His genre paintings of peasants lack Pieter the Elder's subtlety and humanism, and emphasize the picturesque.