Oil/wood, 55 x 41,5 cm, min. rest. - Expert report: Dr. Klaus Ertz, Lingen, 1.4.2011. According to Dr. Ertz the painting is from the 1640s. - Many artists of the Golden Age of Antwerp painting in the 1st half of the 17th century collaborated to produce works of convincing consistency, like the work at hand, previously unknown to scholars. Besides Jan van Balen, Jan Brueghel cooperated already early in his career with colleagues like P. P. Rubens, J. de Momper II., D. Teniers II or H. van Balen, the father of Jan van Balen. The painting with Mary in a magnificent vestment by the hand of van Balen originates from a time when Brueghel overcame the compositional patterns of his father and developed his own style. In break from tradition the artists places the single blossoms one by one in a jewel-like wreath of flowers to show off their particular beauty to their best advantage, an effect that is even added to by the dark background. The lily in the center is a symbol of purity and an attribut of the virgin Mary. The blossoms in the corners refer to that bouquet and make the lunettes and the central image appear a unity. - History, landscape a. flower painter, son a. pupil of Jan B. I, in 1622 he travelled to Italy, after his father’s death in 1625 he returned a. took over his flourishing workshop, later he worked also for the Brussels court a. the Paris tapestry manufacture. - Mus.: Amsterdam (Rijksmus.), Florence (Uffizi), London (Nat. Gall.), Mailand (Brera) a. others. - Lit.: Saur, Thieme-Becker, Ertz, J.B. d.J, WVZ, 1984 a. others. - Jan van Balen (1611-1654), Antwerp history a. figure painter, son a. pupil of Hendrik v. B. whose workshop he inherited inherited in 1632, like Jan Brueghel he travelled to Italy a. returned to Antwerp in 1641, he regularly cooperated with Rubens, Brueghel a. other leading artists. - Mus.: Paris, Stockholm, Dresden, Hamburg (Kunsthalle) a. others. - Lit.: Saur, Thieme-Becker a. others.