Allegory of Sight (Venus and Cupid in a Picture Gallery)

Jan Brueghel the Younger, Flemish (active Antwerp), 1601 - 1678

Geography:
Made in Southern Netherlands (modern Belgium), Europe

Date:
c. 1660

Medium:
Oil on copper

Dimensions:
22 7/8 x 35 5/16 inches (58.1 x 89.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting before 1900, Johnson Collection

Object Location:

* Gallery 258, European Art 1500-1850, second floor

Accession Number:
Cat. 656

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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Label:
Jan Brueghel the Younger, the oldest son of Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625), worked in a similar painting style to his father and followed his father’s practice, which included depicting art galleries of both existing and imaginary collections. This allegory of sight, likely one in a series of the five senses, shows how art collections were assembled to reflect both the wealth and the learning of their owners. Venus examines herself in a mirror, surrounded by a lavish array of the man-made and natural objects that filled princely studios.


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