collection
Oil painting: 69,9 cm x 105,2 cm
S-46

Pieter II Brueghel, the eldest son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, made a great contribution to the dissemination of his father’s work. He had a studio that was specialised in copying and imitating several of his father’s paintings. The Peasant Wedding in a Barn is a virtually exact, though smaller, copy of the same work by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, which is on display in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The painting we see here originally hung in the abbot’s residence of St Peter’s Abbey in Ghent. The wedding feast is set in a barn. The bride has a paper crown above her head, which is attached to a white cloth behind her. In the top right-hand corner two sheaves of wheat are suspended diagonally from a rake. The poor were allowed by law to gather any leftover stems of wheat from the fields after the crops had been harvested. This was called “zantecorn”, suggesting that the family that is portrayed here was not well-off. The couple of lovers in the hayloft on the left side of the panel were added by Pieter II Brueghel.