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Landscape: A River among Mountains
Imitator of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Although at first sight a calm pastoral scene, this picture is full of activity. A river winds through a rocky landscape, seemingly flowing from the background into the foreground. The serpentine shape in the water on the left is apparently a raft of logs being floated downstream from the forests in the distant mountains

In the lower left-hand corner an artist sits sketching by a tree. This is not an early example of a painting done in the open air, however, but derived at several steps removed from the works of Pieter Bruegel. The main elements are taken from a print, itself a pastiche of Bruegel’s landscapes, published after 1590. The artist was probably an Italian working in Italy. The picture is painted on poplar, the usual material for Italian panels.

Key facts
Artist Imitator of Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Artist dates active 1550/1; died 1569
Full title Landscape: A River among Mountains
Date made about 1600
Medium and support Oil on poplar
Dimensions 50.8 × 68.9 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1889
Inventory number NG1298
Location in Gallery Not on display
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