At the top of his fame, Peter Paul Rubens does not hesitate to practice this duet art. Fascinated by the human body, he perhaps has no more time to execute himself the picture of the landscape where his characters will appear.
Rubens and Brueghel realized together mythological, biblical and allegorical paintings. When Jan dies of cholera in 1625, his son Jan the younger aged 24 comes to operate his business and complete the orders. He changes the spelling of his name to Breughel, presumably to differentiate his signature from his father.
On April 22 in New York, Sotheby's sells an oil on panel 58 x 95 cm by Rubens and Breughel, lot 30 estimated $ 3M. This work on the subject of Pan and Syrinx in a landscape is not signed but the process of its creation has been described.
The panel is monogrammed by the guild of panel-makers of Antwerp and by Michiel Vriendt, the carpenter who was a supplier to Rubens. The master painted at an unidentified date the truculent god who grabs the half naked nymph. The panel was then transferred to Brueghel with the commission to add the marshy landscape where Syrinx will soon be transformed into a reed to escape the satyr, according to Ovid.
Dating it to 1626 is plausible. The theme had been used in a closer scene by Rubens and the late Jan Brueghel. The register of the younger Breughel for that year includes a painting for which he states that the figures of Pan and Syrinx had been made by Rubens.