Jan Brueghel the Younger (Flemish, 1601–1678)
Oil on wood
18 1/2 x 26 7/8 in. (47 x 68.3 cm)
Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876–1967), 1967 (67.187.58)
Jan Brueghel the Younger took over his more famous father's studio in 1625 when the elder Jan died unexpectedly. The subject is borrowed from somewhat more elaborate compositions by Jan I; the execution pays tribute to the same artist without quite achieving his remarkable refinement. Various insects and fallen flowers support a conventional vanitas theme which is relieved by the butterfly, a symbol of the soul and the Resurrection.