Attributed to Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Flemish (active Antwerp), 1564 - 1637/38
Brueghel the Younger's Crucifixion seems to be based on an example by his father that is now lost but mentioned in older documents. The painter and biographer Carel van Mander noted in his 1603/4 Het Schilder-Boeck (Book of Painters) that Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564-1637/38), the oldest son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, was "adroit at copying and imitating his father's works." (The younger artist spelled his last name differently than his father.) But the style in which he rendered this composition, with greater clarity and color, is distinctly his own. More importantly, Brueghel established a method of serial production in his workshop in Antwerp. His firm refined methods of training knaepen (apprentices) and developed more efficient ways of copying and transferring designs to satisfy burgeoning demand for his father's traditional compositions among private collectors in the Netherlands and abroad.