Jan Brueghel the Younger (Dutch: 13 September 1601 – 1 September 1678) was a Flemish Baroque painter, and the son of Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Jan the Younger’s best works are his extensive landscapes, either under his own name or made for other artists such as Hendrick van Balen as backgrounds. His pupils were his older sons Abraham, Philips and Jan Peeter, his nephew Jan van Kessel, and his younger brother Ambrosius. Jan the Younger has fifteen paintings in National public collections in the United Kingdom.
Monkeys in contemporary 17th century Dutch dress are shown dealing in tulips. A satirical commentary on speculators during the time of “Tulip Mania”, an economic bubble that centered around rare tulip bulbs. At left, one monkey points to flowering tulips while another holds up a tulip and a moneybag. Bulbs are weighed, money is counted, a lavish business dinner is enjoyed. The monkey at left has a list of rare tulips, his sword denotes upper class status. Farther back, a monkey sits like a nobleman astride a horse. One in mid-foreground draws up a bill of sale; the owl on his shoulder symbolizes foolishness and ignobility. Brueghel is not only ridiculing tulip speculators as brainless monkeys, the work is an object lesson for the folly of speculating to such an extent in such a transient thing as a mere bloom. In the denouement at right, a monkey urinates on the now worthless tulips; fellow speculators in debt are brought before the magistrate or weep in the dock. A frustrated buyer brandishes his fists, while at the back right a speculator is carried to his grave.