Breughel. I. Pieter, the first of a celebrated family of Dutch and Flemish painters, born near Breda about 1520, died in Brussels about 1580. He studied with Peter Koeck, travelled through portions of France, Italy, and Switzerland, making sketches, and went to reside at Antwerp, where he was made a member of the academy in 1551. He painted village festivals, attacks of banditti in wild landscapes, or scenes among the gypsies. II. Pieter the younger, son of the preceding, called " Hell Breughel," from the diabolical character of his subjects, born about 1567, died in 1625. His pictures generally represent scenes in which devils, witches, sorcerers, or robbers play a conspicuous part. One of his most famous works is the " Temptation of St. Anthony." III. Jan, brother of the preceding, commonly known as " Velvet Breughel," either from his habit of dressing his figures in velvet, or from the softness and delicacy with which he painted flowers, born at Brussels about 1570, died about 1635. His first pictures were miniatures and fruit and flower pieces; but after a tour through Italy he took to painting landscapes, which are remarkable for exquisite finish, and the spirit and character of the minute figures introduced into them.
He returned to Flanders with so great a reputation as a landscape painter, that artists frequently applied to him to paint backgrounds and other accessories to their pictures. In this way he assisted Rubens in the celebrated pictures of "Adam and Eve in Paradise," "The Four Elements," and " Vertumnus and Pomona".