The Sermon on the Mount

Object Details


The Sermon on the Mount


Jan Brueghel the Elder (Flemish, 1568 - 1625)






Oil on copper


26.7 x 36.8 cm (10 1/2 x 14 1/2 in.)

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In this small painting, the figure of Christ is almost lost amid the dense, multi-colored crowd. Identified by a pale yellow halo, Christ stands on a rustic podium near the crowd's center. He presents his sermon on the conditions of blessedness. Behind Christ, his disciples pay rapt attention, but many in the diverse throng prefer to socialize with one another. In the foreground, a gnarled gypsy tells fortunes and a vendor sells pretzels. To the right, below a distant vista, a man in a long coat and dark hat directs two women in elegant gowns toward the crowd.
Jan Brueghel the Elder painted this festive scene on a thin sheet of copper. The work's bright colors, fine details, and enamel-like finish are accentuated by the hard copper support. Brueghel's unmatched ability to describe figures and landscape in great detail transforms the painting into a jewel-like object intended for close scrutiny.

- 1935

Private Collection (Vienna, Austria), sold to David Goldman, 1935.

1935 -

David Goldman (New York, New York), by inheritance to a private collector.

- 1984

Private Collection (New York, New York) [sold, Sotheby's, New York, April 19, 1984, lot 44, to Noortman & Brod, Ltd.]


Noortman & Brod, Ltd. (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

Die Jungeren Brueghel und ihr Kreis (1935)
  • Pieter de Boer Kunsthandel, (Amsterdam), 1935
  • Galerie Sanct Lucas, (Vienna), 1935
Rubens and Brueghel: A Working Friendship / Rubens en Brueghel: Een artistieke vriendschap (July 5 to January 28, 2007) (25)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 5 to September 24, 2006
Related Media
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    Audio: Sermon on the Mount