BREUGHEL (or Brueghel), PIETER, Flemish painter, was the son of a peasant residing in the village of Breughel near Breda. After receiving instruction in painting from Koek, whose daughter he married, he spent some time in France and Italy, and then went to Antwerp, where he was elected into the Academy in 1551. He finally settled at Brussels and died there. The subjects of his pictures are chiefly humorous figures, like those of D. Teniers; and if he wants the delicate touch and silvery clearness of that master, he has abundant spirit and comic power. He is said to have died about the year 1570 at the age of sixty; other accounts give 1590 as the date of his death.
His son Pieter, the younger (1564–1637), known as “Hell” Breughel, was born in Brussels and died at Antwerp, where his “Christ bearing the Cross” is in the museum.
Another son Jan (c. 1569–1642), known as “Velvet” Breughel, was born at Brussels. He first applied himself to painting flowers and fruits, and afterwards acquired considerable reputation by his landscapes and sea-pieces. After residing long at Cologne he travelled into Italy, where his landscapes, adorned with small figures, were greatly admired. He left a large number of pictures, chiefly landscapes, which are executed with great skill. Rubens made use of Breughel’s hand in the landscape part of several of his small pictures—such as his “Vertumnus and Pomona,” the “Satyr viewing the Sleeping Nymph,” and the “Terrestrial Paradise.”