This picture depicting the allegory of Earth is one of a set of four illustrating the theme of the elements, painted between 1606 and 1611 and kept at Lyon's Museum of Fine Arts.

An incredible diversity of species and varieties can be seen here, depicted with a brush as clever as it is scrupulous. In fact, these allegorical compositions combine ancient cosmology with an almost encyclopedic inventory of natural riches.

According to the dates recorded on three of the pictures, this series must have taken six years to create and the painter created several more variations of it after 1604.


  • Title: Earth
  • Creator: Jan Brueghel l'Ancien, dit de velours
  • Date Created: 1610
  • Physical Location: Lyon, France
  • Physical Dimensions: H. 46 ; L. 83 cm
  • Provenance: Envoi de l'Etat, 1811
  • Rights: Photo : © Lyon MBA - Gilles Alonso
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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