Wedding Dance in the Open Air – Breughel the Younger

Date: c. 17th century

Location: Holburne Museum, Bath, UK

Style: Flemish School

Previously thought to have been a copy, this lively depiction of a dutch peasants wedding has recently been certified as a genuine painting of Breughel the Youngers – part of the painterly dynasty of the Breughel family, and is now on display in Bath, Somerset.

The painting is a re-interpretation of a similar composition by Breughel the Elder ( see below) quite a common theme within the Youngers work. The similar style of the father and son is not due to the Elder having taught his son – as he died when The Younger was around 5 years old. It is instead thought that the Younger’s maternal grandmother, Maeyken Coecke – a skilled miniaturist , who also taught Breughel the Elder.

Breughel’s work has a common theme of depictions of peasant traditions and Early Modern Flemish life which make for a real snapshot of this time, caught fleetingly in oil paint and providing a great source of information for historians and art lovers alike.

This is a significant discovery not only for this quirky little museum but for the art world in general as this discovery now means that the Holburne has the most Breughel paintings of any UK collection.

The vibrancy of the colours and the evident jolly mood make this relatively small painting a captivating piece – well worth seeing in real life!

Here is a link to the Holburne’s website:





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