Oil on panel, 48.5cm by 75.5cm. Stamped on the reverse with the coat-of-arms of the City of Antwerp.
The painting is one of a set of the four elements by the artist purchased by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700) through an agent, Mr. Maurice.
It appears in the 1688 Burghley Inventory which records: ‘The Tea roome…4 pictures of the Ellements Guilt frames, by —.’
The Antwerp-born artist was the son of Jan Breughel the Elder (1568-1625) and grandson of Pieter Breugel the Elder (c1525-1569), both of whom contributed extensively to the development of Renaissance and Baroque art in the Netherlands.
Initially, Breughel the Younger painted similar subjects, and in a similar style, to that of his father. His later paintings became much freer and less structured.