Alexander van Bredael – Merrymaking on the ice –
Alexander van Bredael (1 April 1663 – 14 July 1720) was a Flemish painter known for Italianate landscapes and genre scenes of fairs, cattle markets and villages. He was a prominent member of the Antwerp artistic family van Bredael.
Alexander van Bredael painted in a wide variety of genres including cattle market scenes, Italianate landscapes and village scenes. He is probably best known for his depiction of festivals and processions set in his native Antwerp. His village scenes are reminiscent of the genre scenes of David Teniers the Younger. He also took his inspiration from other Flemish artists. For instance, his composition A Festival in Antwerp likely drew its inspiration from similar paintings representing processions in cities by Flemish artists such as Pieter van Aelst and Erasmus de Bie.
He painted many scenes of cattle markets, which offered him the opportunity to showcase his skill in depicting group scenes populated with many figures as well as his ability to paint animals. He made various Italianate landscapes often including harbour scenes such as the Harbour Scene with View of a Town.
Alexander van Bredael produced designs for the tapestry workshops in Oudenaarde. In 1698 he is recorded as supplying designs for six tapestries with genre scenes depicting peasants and gypsies. He provided designs for tapestries that are referred to as Teniers scenes or tapestries. This refers to tapestries related to the Flemish genre painters David Teniers the Younger and David Teniers III. Even though it is not possible to connect the tapestries known as Teniers tapestries, which were woven in numerous weaving centers in Flanders, to any specific designs of these genre painters, these tapestries have been called Teniers tapestries since the early 18th century. Correspondences between the merchant Pieter van Verrren and Alexander van Bredael of 1700 make clear Alexander van Bredael designed some Teniers tapestries. A tapestry depicting an eyeglass vendor was sold by Christie’s on 5 February 2003 in New York. It is possible that the landscape in this tapestry was drawn by Pieter Spierinckx, particularly since such a collaboration between Bredael and Spierinckx on Teniers tapestries is mentioned in documents of 1707.