Paul and Mattheus Brill
Paul (1554 in Antwerp or Breda; 7 October 1626 in Rome) and Mattheus (or Matthijs) (1550 in Antwerp; 8 June 1583 in Rome) Bril (or Brill) were Flemish painters principally of landscapes. After training in Antwerp, they worked in Rome where they earned papal favor.
Matthijs trained in Antwerp and moved to Rome around 1570 where he began work on several frescoes. His work includes the Vatican's Seasons and the floor to ceiling frescos in the Torre dei Venti. Paul joined his brother in Rome around 1575. When Matthijs died in 1583, his brother continued his work, picking up many of Matthijs' commissions.
Paul, a student of Damiaen Oertelmans, painted frescoes such as the landscapes in the Casino Rospigliosi (Rome), and The Roman Forum, which showed this site for what it had become: a slum for squatters and pasture for livestock (so much so that the place was nicknamed Campo Vaccino, or "The Cowfield"). His masterpiece may be a fresco in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican, a monumental depiction of The Martyrdom of St. Clement.
Paul also did small cabinet paintings on copper, some of which are signed with a pair of glasses (a pun on the Flemish word 'bril' which means 'glasses'). A prolific draftsman, his drawings were popular with collectors and were copied by the many students who worked with him in his studio, which was a popular destination for Netherlandish artists visiting Rome. He often collaborated on paintings with Johann Rottenhammer, who according to a dealer's letter of 1617 painted the figures in Venice and then sent the plates to Rome for Bril to complete the landscape. He also collaborated with his friends Jan Brueghel the Elder and Adam Elsheimer, whom he both influenced and was influenced by. His collaboration with Elsheimer is shown in a painting now in Chatsworth House.
Agostino Tassi may have been Paul's pupil. Tassi later became the master of Claude Lorrain. The Bril Brothers form one of the links between the panoramic views of Joachim Patenier, and the ideal landscape evolved by Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain. In 1621, Bril became head of the Accademia di San Luca, the artists' academy in Rome.
- Cleef 1913.
- Chisholm 1911.
- Louisa Wood Ruby, The Drawings of Paul Bril, Brepols, 1999.
- Rüdiger Klessmann, Adam Elsheimer 1578-1610, 2006, Paul Holberton publishing/National Galleries of Scotland; ISBN 1-903278-78-3
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bril, Paul". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Cleef, Augustus Van (1913). "Paulus Bril". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.
- Peter and Linda Murray, The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists. Fifth Edition: Revised and Enlarged (Penguin Books, London, 1988), 51.
- Carla Hendriks, Northern Landscapes on Roman Walls: The Frescoes of Matthijs and Paul Bril. (Florence : Centro Di della Edifimi, c2003).
- Rudolf Baer, Paul Bril: Studien zur entwicklungsgeschichte der Landschaftsmalerei um 1600. (Munich: J.B. Grassi, 1930).
- Francesca Cappelletti, Paul Bril e la pittura di paesaggio a Roma, 1580-1630. (Rome: Ugo Bozzi, c.2006).
- Louisa Wood Ruby, Paul Bril: The Drawings. (Turnhout: Brepols, 1999).
- Anton Mayer, Das Leben und die Werke der Brueder Matthaeus und Paul Brill. (Leipzig: K.W. Hiersemann, 1910).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paul Bril.|