Museum Home Past Exhibitions Rubens and Brueghel: A Working Friendship

July 5–September 24, 2006 at the Getty Center

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Browse reactions of other viewers below. These reactions were submitted to this site between June 28 and September 24, 2006. The site is now closed to new reactions. The opinions presented here may have been edited and do not reflect the opinions of the Getty.

Posted on 09/24/06 by Petra Tromp, Netherlands
I previewed your Internet exhibition and I thought it was wonderful. I rejoice seeing the real paintings in The Hague.

Posted on 09/22/06 by Graham Slater, Los Angeles
Fantastic exhibit! Flora and Zephyr may actually be a remarkable painting in natural history terms as well, as the cassowaries represented in it are likely based on the first example of this bird seen by Europeans, which was presented to Holy Emperor Rudolf II in 1597 and exhibited publicly in Holland.

Editor's note: The cassowary is a large, flightless bird native to New Guinea and Australia. In the painting Flora and Zephyr, there is a cassowary standing among the flowers to the right of Flora. Two more cassowaries stand in the background on a ledge, directly under the winged Zephyr's outstretched arms.

Posted on 09/18/06 by Brian Skol, Rockford, IL
This is truly amazing. In my own research of Rubens, he had always been overshadowed Brueghel. Often scholars have the opinion that Rubens was the more skilled painter of the two, and had the ability to paint living animals better than any artist of his time. This exhibition sheds new light for me, and a higher appreciation for Brueghel's work. I'm very excited to read the exhibition catalogue to see more of what these two artists have jointly contributed to the art world.

Posted on 09/16/06 by biron, San Francisco
Your online presentation of this exhibition is superb. This is using technology as a tool for clearer understanding. This is the best application of technology that I've ever seen in a museum presentation. Bravo!

Posted on 09/13/06 by Tracey, Baytown, Texas
I had the opportunity to see the exhibit in August. It was absolutely amazing. I have never seen such intricate detail in paintings. Each time I looked at one I saw something new. What a wonderful collection, and a wonderful museum.

Posted on 09/12/06 by Jenifer S., San Jose, CA
I brought two friends from London with me to The Getty. We viewed the Rubens and Brueghel exhibit first. All three of us were entranced with the magic that these two extraordinary artists created. Their collaboration is inspiring and also demonstrates a unique balance of their skills. One a portrait master, the other a master of depicting wildlife. We truly enjoyed viewing their works, and were quite impressed with the technique using x-rays to examine the original sketch and changes done to the painting "Mars and Venus."

Posted on 09/11/06 by Carol Nelson, Anaheim, CA
Thank you for the chance to view the work of two of the greatest painters of their time again. Having lived in Brussels for 6 years as a teenager, I acquired a love of the Dutch masters. Learning about the technical aspects has been fascinating. Keep up the good work.

Posted on 09/08/06 by badruden g juma, Santa Monica
You do a very good job. I came on Friday, September 1, 2006, with the residents from Upward Bound House's Senior Villa. You do a service to all in your area.

Posted on 09/03/06 by Honario, Valley Village, CA
I attended the "Point of View" talk given by Rey Bustos. Being in the presence of the artworks while having an accomplished artist describe the techniques, historical contexts, and the artists themselves brought a dimension to "old" art I had not experienced before. I can only describe it as like the paintings were breathing. I felt the reasons for their being extant, the reasons for their being as they are in living terms. I could easily imagine the wood panels being carried through the streets of medieval Antwerp (thanks to that map in the gallery) from studio to studio. Rey's talk put these artworks in the realm of something created by real people for others to see rather than something divine to be revered on a high altar. Thank you.

Posted on 09/01/06 by Art Cronson, Manhasset, NY
I heard about the exhibition on NPR. Your use of the Internet is a wonderful way to let art lovers worldwide see a part of a very educational art exhibition without leaving their homes. Thanks and please keep up the great work.

Posted on 08/31/06 by Dan Peragine, Carlsbad, CA
I had not known of the intensity of the collaborative effort. Thank you. Was there also an artist named Paul de Vos who possibly worked with Rubens? I believe he was from Brussels?

Editor's note: Read about de Vos on our Web site.

Posted on 08/29/06 by Daniel Ortiz, Santa Monica, California, USA
Your Web site is wonderful! It's exciting and innovative. I'm enriching my knowledge of art through it. One can get close-ups of works, audio presentations, interviews, etc. Fortunately, I can first learn from your site and then visit the exhibitions in person. Thank you for a painstaking job.

Posted on 08/28/06 by nancy ottum, davis, ca
I saw, with wonder, the beautiful paintings of Rubens & Brueghel! The exhibit was just big enough to pique my interest, fill me with awe and not exhaust my enthusiasm for these masters.

Posted on 08/28/06 by Verna Murrell & Kevin Kiely, Moorpark, CA
To have something this beautiful right here in Southern CA is a gift.

Posted on 08/25/06 by James Parker, San Diego
My family and I had a wonderful time at the museum, and while there my 12-year-old daughter made an interesting observation. She noticed that in 5 of the Rubens and Brueghel paintings they included two identical guinea pigs. Not likely a coincedence. So, the obvious question is why did the artists include these same guinea pigs in so many of their works. Family pets? Symbolic? Do you have any thoughts on this matter?

Editor's note: Your daughter has a sharp eye. Many of the same animals show up again and again in these paintings, not just guinea pigs. Part of the answer is simply that it was easier to reuse the same animal composition again, rather than inventing a new image. But certainly the animals were included for symbolic reasons. In the 17th century, guinea pigs were from the newly discovered Western hemisphere and thus had exotic associations.
You can explore more of the repeated imagery from these paintings in this Web presentation.

Posted on 08/23/06 by Felipe H Gonzalez, Ensenada, Baja Mexico
It was a great day with my family in this unique place in this part of the world. Thanks.

Posted on 08/16/06 by donna love, mooresville, indiana
Oh my! I am speechless. What a wonderful way to observe up close such an incredible work of art. I was fascinated with looking for all the animals mentioned in the Madonna and Child in a Garland of Fruit and Flowers painting. And to see the brushstrokes and canvas in the sky area. All this from my computer. All by accident. Thank you for sharing these works of art.

Posted on 08/03/06 by Patty Eacobacci, Grass Valley
The Getty was my first adult experience with a museum. The paintings of Brueghel brought me to tears. I think it was this overwhelming feeling of knowing they were over 400 years old and then, when leaning in for a closer look, I could see the individual brush strokes the artist had made. Mr. Brueghel was present and enjoying my experience of his work. My experience at the Getty was a day I will always remember. Thank you.

I do have one question. In my research endeavors, I have found the birth and death dates reported in your brochure for Brueghel do not seem to match the dates I am finding referenced everywhere else (1525–1569). In fact, the dates are so far from your report that it would be impossible for Brueghel and Rubens to have done any collaboration, since Rubens was born in 1577.

Curator's note: The artist in this exhibition is Jan Brueghel the Elder (b. 1568, d. 1625). He comes from a family of painters, and both his father and son were well-known artists. The life dates you refer to are those of Jan Brueghel's father, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (b. about 1525–30, d. 1569). Interestingly, Jan's father spelled his name without the 'h'.

Posted on 07/28/06 by albert ibarra, mexico d. f.
Thank you my friends for letting me see these pretty pictures.

Posted on 07/21/06 by Judy Suasnovar Abid, Fort Worth, TX
It was exciting and exhilarating to see a collaboration such as this. I felt honored to view it.

Posted on 07/16/06 by Antien Knaap, Cambridge, MA
What a great subject for an exhibition. A narrowly focused show, which investigates the technical and social implications of collaborative pictures, will be a delight for specialists and non-specialists alike. Thank you for tackling a historical question rather than just presenting us pretty pictures.

Posted on 07/14/06 by Harry Cohen, Laguna Beach
What a wonderful way to convey this work. I wish there were audio for all the screens. Also, some instruction on how to navigate the zooms and details would be helpful. But in general, a great presentation.

Posted on 07/06/06 by Dan Cline, La Quinta, CA
What a novel discovery! Two artisits working together to colaberate on one painting. Makes one wonder if two master artists could have worked together to produce a work in a medium other than canvas.

Posted on 06/28/06 by Margaret Hsueh, Los Angeles, CA
I always pictured Old Master paintings as the work of one great master, working alone. What a revelation that these two artists collaborated on these masterpieces! I guess the cult of the solo struggling artist is a modern idea?

Posted on 06/28/06 by Cat Weisman, Long Beach, CA
I love the technical photography. Thanks for sharing these behind the scenes efforts with us!