PEETER VAN BREDAEL (Antwerp 1629 – Antwerp 1719)
A Market in Italy
signed breda – f in the lower center
oil on canvas
52 1/8 x 79 1/2 inches (134 x 200.3 cm.)
Private Collection, New York
Not meant to be representative of a particular place, Bredael instead opted to give his viewer the flavor of an Italian landscape and its people. The scene is filled with huntsmen, milkmaids, tradespeople, balladeers, oriental merchants, dancers, fiddlers, and gamesters, as well as every beast i.e. dogs, goats, cattle, horses, sheep, and donkeys. The landscape of soft rolling hills is typical, but the mix of ancient crumbling structures and monuments is pure artifice. Spurred by a northern clientele attracted to visions of the south, Bredael created a theatrical and decorative panorama of a countryside which heprobably never visited,
Peeter van Bredael (or Breda) was a pupil of David Ryckaert III (1612 – 1661) from 1640 – 1644. He afterwards traveled to Spain, returning to Antwerp by 1648. Although known as a painter primarily of Italianate landscapes of ruins, markets, and battle scenes, there is no evidence that he ever went to Italy. It is more likely that Bredael was inspired by Bamboccianti artists such as Anton Goubau (1616 – 1698) who was active in Antwerp and known for his large market scenes. In 1648 Bredael married the daughter of the sculptor Jennyn Veldener. They had eight children, three of whom were painters; Jean Pierre I (1654- 1745), Joris (1661 – circa 1706?) and Alexandre van Bredael (1663 1720). In 1650/51 he became a free master of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke.
There is an exact repetition of the same central foreground grouping of the greyhound and three other dogs in a work by Bredael entitled Fair in Italy in the Municipal Museum in Châlons–sur–Marne. (see J. de Maere & M. Wabbes, Illustrated Dictionary of 17th Century Flemish Painters, Brussels, volume II, p. 167.) Other works by the artist can be found in the museums of: Antwerp, Breslau, Brest, Bruges, Helsinki, The Hague, Heidelberg, Lille, Nantes and Stockholm.