Abraham Brueghel

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Bouquet of flowers in a vase in bronze.

Abraham Brueghel (alternative spellings of his family name: Breugel, Breughel, Briegel, Bruegel; also called: 'Brueghel, il Napolitano' and nick name: 'Rijngraaf' or 'Ringraaf')(baptised November 28, 1631, Antwerp – c. 1690, Naples) was a Flemish painter from the famous Brueghel family of artists. He emigrated at a young age to Italy where he made a name for himself as a still life painter.

Early life[edit]

Abraham was the son of Jan Brueghel the Younger, the grandson of Jan Brueghel the Elder and the great-grandson of Pieter Brueghel the Elder. Much of his artistic training came from his father Jan Brueghel the Younger. Abraham showed great promise as an artist from an early age, and started to make a name for himself in his teenage years. His father sold one of Abraham's floral still lives when he was only 15 years old.[1]

Life as an artist[edit]

Garland of Flowers

In 1649, at the age of 18, Abraham went to Italy to complete a commission for Prince Antonio Ruffo in Sicily. It was the first of many commissions in which Abraham demonstrated his artistic abilities in drawing floral still lifes.

Ten years later, in 1659, Brueghel moved to Rome, Italy and married an Italian woman less than a year later. He continued painting portraits of objects in nature, and in 1670 he was invited into the Accademia di San Luca, a Roman academy with the purpose of elevating the work of artists. He became a member of the Bentvueghels, an association of mainly Dutch and Flemish artists working in Rome. It was customary for the Bentvueghels to adopt an appealing nickname, the so-called 'bent name'. He was given the bent name Rijngraaf, meaning 'duke of the Rhine', which was an old aristocratic title in Northern Europe. When Abraham Genoels joined the Bentvueghels in 1670, Abraham Brueghel signed the bentbrief as "Abraham Breugel".[2]

A year later, Abraham moved to Naples, Italy, where he remained until his death in 1690.[1]


Abraham Brueghel established a reputation for his still lifes and in particular, floral still lives. One hunting still life signed and dated by him is known.[1] He painted his own landscapes but the staffage in his paintings was painted by well-known Italian painters, such as Carlo Maratta, Giovanni Battista Gaulli and Giacinto Brandi.[3]

Family tree[edit]

Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Pieter Brueghel the Younger
Jan Brueghel the Elder
Ambrosius Brueghel
Jan Brueghel the Younger
Anna Brueghel x David Teniers the Younger
Paschasia Brueghel x Hieronymous van Kessel
Jan Pieter Brueghel
Abraham Brueghel
Jan Baptist Brueghel
Jan van Kessel, senior


External link[edit]