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In the early years of the Art Museum of Estonia, the northern Estonian art protection committee – tasked with gathering up art treasures from abandoned manors in wartime – handed over artworks to the museum. The Procession of the Bride is from Nõva Manor in Lääne County. The painting also has a “twin” at the museum, Presentation of Gifts. The Procession painting bears number 1 in the museum’s painting collection.
The painting, which was completed around 1630 in Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s studio, The Procession of the Bride, was originally part of a series of 5-6 paintings. The series depicted the sending of the bride to church, the bridegroom’s entourage arriving at the church, presentation of gifts, the wedding celebration, and the consecration of the matrimonial bed and then finally everyday married life. The iconography in the series is based on historical peasant satirical tradition that can be traced back to the rapid urbanization that took place in the 15th century in the Low Countries.