Village Lawyer | MSK Gent
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Village Lawyer, 1621

  • oil paint, panel
  • 76.6 x 123.7 cm
  • Inv. 1952-G

Public Domain

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In addition to numerous copies of his father’s work, Pieter Brueghel II also created original compositions such as this painting of the Village Lawyer, which is signed and dated 1621 at the bottom left. This painting is an interesting historical document. The authorities increasingly interfered with jurisdiction. Consequently, lawyers became an important intermediary in rural areas. As we see here, the lawyer often received payment in kind. In this work Pieter II Brueghel shows himself to be a satirical artist and amused observer of human relationships and social situations. He depicts the lawyer as a sly, greedy man who confounds the unsophisticated peasants with piles of paperwork.


Pieter II Brueghel RKD
Brussels 1564 - Antwerp 1638
painters (artists)AAT

Title Village Lawyer
Date 1621
Period 17th century
Signatures, inscriptions, and markings signature and year bottom left: .P. BREVGHEL. 1621
Collection paintings AAT
Object type oil paintings (visual works) AAT
Inventory number 1952-G
Acquisition credit long-term loan
Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Current whereabouts Work on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300189808 figures (representations) AAT
300124520 interior views AAT
Keywords Iconclass 25I2 village Iconclass
31A71 male sex; man Iconclass
31D14 adult man Iconclass
41A2 interior of the house Iconclass
41A3321 closed window Iconclass
41A4 decorations (interior of the house) Iconclass
41A7 furniture and household effects Iconclass
44G16 lawyer, attorney at law Iconclass
46A2 social contrast Iconclass
46A22 contrast between urban and rural life; city dweller versus country dweller Iconclass
49L5 writing tools Iconclass
49L62 ink-well Iconclass
49L641 paper (writing material) Iconclass
49L66 writing-table, writing-desk Iconclass
55BB1 Poverty; 'Poverta', 'Poverta del doni', 'Poverta in uno ch'habbia bell'ingegno' (Ripa) Iconclass
59BB Social Position (opposing concepts) Iconclass
School / Style Renaissance AAT
'Le Paiement des Impôts par Pierre Brueghel II (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Gand)', in: La Revue de la Banque / Sabine Speth-Holterhoff. - [s.l.]. - [s.n.]. - 1960 (jg. 24, nr. 1)
Acht eeuwen schilderkunst : Schatten uit de Belgische musea / Jozef Duverger, Robert L. Delevoy, Walter Vanbeselaere. - Brussel : Arcade, 1969 (p. 336, nr. 724)
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent / Robert Hoozee. - Brussel : Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, 1988 (p. 33, 36)
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : Catalogus schilderkunst ; Deel I: 14de - 18de eeuw ; Deel II: 19de - 20ste eeuw / Robert Hoozee, Johan De Smet, Bruno Fornari, Ruth Monteyne. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2007 (dl. I, p. 60-61 (ill.))
Het Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : een keuze uit de mooiste werken / Patrick De Rynck. - Gent : Ludion, 2007 (p. 29 (ill.))
Pieter Rixtel (1643-1673) : Een dichter zonder rust / Klaas De Jong. - Hilversum : Verloren, 2015 (p. 41)
Waarom de dorpsadvocaat van Brueghel eigenlijk een stadsprocureur is / Georges Martyn. - [s.l.] : [s.n.], [s.a.]
Malerei von ca. 1550 bis 1700 im Hessischen Landesmuseum Darmstadt : Zweibändiger Bestandskatalog / Heidrun Ludwig, Olivia Levental, Wolfgang Fuhrmannek. - Darmstadt : Hessisches Landesmuseum (Darmstadt), 2022 (p. 168-169)
Nicolas Baullery (vers 1560 - 1630), enquête sur un peintre parisien à l’aube du Grand Siècle / Vladimir Nestorov. - [s.l.]. - HAL, 2014 (p.116)
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