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Pieter Bruegel the elder

Paintings

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus Print by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

The Harvesters Print by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Harvesters

The Triumph of Death Print by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Triumph of Death

Childrens Games Print by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Childrens Games

The Peasant Wedding Print by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Peasant Wedding

The Tower of Babel Print by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Tower of Babel

The Dutch Proverbs Print by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Dutch Proverbs

The Three Soldiers Print by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Three Soldiers

The Wine of Saint Martin's Day Print by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Wine of Saint Martin's Day

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Triumph of Death

Old peasant woman

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Adoration of the Magi

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Ascent to Calvary

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Peasant Wedding

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Peasant Wedding , Detail

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Peasant Wedding , Detail

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Peasant Dance

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Conversion of St Paul

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Penitential sermon of John

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Massacre of the Innocents

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Dulle Griet ( The great Grete), Mad Meg

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The cripple

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The parable of the blind

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

River Landscape with a Sower

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Port of Naples

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with gallows (dance under the gallows )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape And Temptation of St. Anthony

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Misanthrope

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Peasant and the Nest Robber

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Cockaigne

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Sea Storm

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Suicide of Saul

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Suicide of Saul, Detail

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The children's games

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Dutch Proverbs

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Dispute Between Carnival and Lent

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Fall of the angels

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Triumph of Death

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Tower of Babel

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Tower of Babel

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Tower of Babel

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Census at Bethlehem

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Winter Landscape with Skaters

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Two Monkeys

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Gloomy Day ( February or March )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The grain harvest month ( August)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Return of the Herd ( October or November )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Cycle of the month pictures scene: Hunters in the Snow ( January )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Wine of Saint Martin's Day

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Hay Harvest

Drawings

Caritas. Charity Print by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Caritas. Charity

Big Fish Eat Little Fish Print by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Big Fish Eat Little Fish

Desidia. Sloth Print by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Desidia. Sloth

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

» Elck (Everyone) and Nemo Nobody "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Alps

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Alpine landscape

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Alpine landscape

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Alpine landscape

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Alpine landscape

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Alpine landscape with Artist

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Alpine landscape with mules

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Alpine Landscape

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Old peasant woman in profile

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Mule

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

View of Reggio

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Farmer and his wife

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Peasant woman in profile

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Farmer with hoe and basket

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Peasant woman with milk pot

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Peasant Woman and back figure

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Farm boy , back figure

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Mountainous landscape

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Miner

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Buffalo

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Castle in mountainous area

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Castle with round towers , behind a river

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Alchemist

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Blind Beggar

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The donkey in the school

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The painter and art connoisseur

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The painter and art connoisseur

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The horse dealer

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The pilgrim

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Fall of the Magician

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Lamentation

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The beekeepers

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The blind

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Temptation of St. Anthony

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The two mountain giants

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Village landscape

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Village landscape with peasant family

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Village landscape with peasant family

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Village landscape with church in foreground

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Three farmers

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Three farmers and the sketch of a hat

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Three citizens

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Rocky landscape with castle and riders

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Rocky River Landscape

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Rocky area

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Rocky area with castle and river valley

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Rocky Landscape with Castle

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Rocky landscape with narrow path

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Figure study

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Figure studies , left: cripple , right: Soldier

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

River landscape with sailboat

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

River valley

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

River valley with mountain in background

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

mountain gorge

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Deer

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Deer studies

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with fortified city

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with mountain range

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with castle ruins and rock arch

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

landscape

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with river and mountains

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with river valley and mountains

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with St. Jerome

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with a monastery at the foot of a mountain

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with castle on rock

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Marine landscape

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Market woman

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Horse study

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Riders and two horses

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Ripa Grande , Rome

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Back view of a citizen

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Back view of a citizen

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Back figure of a peasant woman with basket

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Background figure with big hat

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Ruins and chapel on rocks

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Sleeping Peasant , sitting

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Seated Peasant Woman

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Seated farmer and farmer's wife standing with basket

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Sitting Peasant, a basket holding

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

sitting citizen

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Sitting citizen and cripple

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Sitting and standing Farmer

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Sunrise in the valley

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Studies of three farmers

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Study sheet

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Study Journal , The Shepherd

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Study sheet

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Study sheet

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Stormy Sea

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Towers and gates of Amsterdam

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Towers and gates of Amsterdam

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Towers and gates of Amsterdam

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

crippled beggar

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Crippled beggar

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing for " the Four Seasons " : Spring

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing for " the Four Seasons " : Summer

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing for " Last successes " : The Last Judgement

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing for " Last successes " : avarice ( Avaritia )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing for " Last successes " : Pride ( Superbia )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing for " Last successes " : Envy ( Invidia )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing for " Last successes " : inertia ( Desidia , acedia )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing for " Last successes " : unchastity ( Luxuria )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing for " Last successes " : intemperance ( Gula )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing for " Last successes " : Anger ( Ira )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing on "virtue Series " : Christ in Limbo

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing on "virtue Series " : Justice ( Justitia )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing on "virtue Series " : Faith (Fides )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing on "virtue Series " : Hope ( Spes )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing on "virtue Series " : Wisdom ( Prudence )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing on "virtue Series " : love (Caritas )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing on "virtue Series " : Temperance ( Temperance )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Drawing on "virtue Series " : starch ( Fortitude )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Audience

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Two farmers

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Two farmers , profile and Back figure

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Two citizens , back figures

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Two citizens , back figures

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Two wood chipper , back figures

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Two men in festive dress

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Two market women

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Two market women

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Two rabbis

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Two Seated Old

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Two sitting female farmers , back view

Illustrations

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Feast of Fools

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Parable of the Good Shepherd

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The parable of the virgins

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The senior officers of Ronse

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Alchemist

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The donkey in the school

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The case of the magician

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The trader and the monkeys

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The battle of the piggy banks with the money doses

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Triumph of Time

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The drunkard in the pigsty

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Resurrection

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The fortress on a rock

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Fat Kitchen

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The patience

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Witch of Malleghem

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The hunt for the wild hare

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The fair at St. Georges

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The fair of Hoboken

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The lean cuisine

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Four Seasons , Spring

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Four Seasons , Summer

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Elck (Everyone) and Nemo (No one )

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "little landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " vices "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " vices "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " vices "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " vices "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " vices "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " vices "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " vices "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " vices "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " marine ships "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " marine ships "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " marine ships "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " marine ships "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " marine ships "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " marine ships "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " marine ships "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " marine ships "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " marine ships "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the " marine ships "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "pilgrimage of epileptics "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "pilgrimage of epileptics "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "pilgrimage of epileptics "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "virtues"

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "virtues"

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "virtues"

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "virtues"

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "virtues"

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "virtues"

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "virtues"

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "virtues"

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve Proverbs "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve Proverbs "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve Proverbs "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve Proverbs "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve Proverbs "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve Proverbs "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve Proverbs "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve Proverbs "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve Proverbs "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve Proverbs "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve Proverbs "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve Proverbs "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve large landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve large landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve large landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve large landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve large landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve large landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve large landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve large landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve large landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve large landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Series of the "Twelve large landscapes "

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Large alpine landscape

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Big fish eat the little ones

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

St. James the Elder and Hermogenes

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Hill above a river

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Jesus and the adulteress

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

On the road to Emmaus

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Carnival scene , two fools

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Carnival scene

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with Psyche and Mercury

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Death of the Virgin

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Marine vessels , sailing ship

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Cockaigne

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Ice Skating at St. George before the gates of Antwerp

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Battle

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Temptation of St. Anthony

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Pieter Bruegel The Elder - The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Tower of Babel

Pieter Bruegel (also Brueghel) the Elder (Dutch: [ˈpitər ˈbrøːɣəl]; c. 1525 – 9 September 1569) was a Dutch Renaissance painter and printmaker from Brabant, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes (so called genre painting). He is sometimes referred to as the "Peasant Bruegel". From 1559, he dropped the "h" from his name and signed his paintings as Bruegel.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Portrait of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Egidius Sadeler

Life

There are two sources for Bruegel's biography. The first one is Lodovico Guicciardini's account of the Low Countries, and the second one is Karel van Mander's 1604 Schilder-boeck.[1] Lodovico Guicciardini reports that he was born in Breda, but according to van Mander, he was born in Breugel near the (now Dutch) town of Breda. He was an apprentice of Pieter Coecke van Aelst, whose daughter Mayken he later married. He spent some time in France and Italy, and then went to Antwerp, where in 1551 he was accepted as a master in the painter's guild. He traveled to Italy soon after, and then returned to Antwerp before settling in Brussels permanently 10 years later.

He received the nickname "Peasant Bruegel" or "Bruegel the Peasant" for his practice of dressing up like a peasant in order to socialize at weddings and other celebrations, thereby gaining inspiration and authentic details for his genre paintings. He died in Brussels on 9 September 1569 and was buried in the Kapellekerk.

Historical background

Bruegel was born at a time of extensive change in Western Europe. Humanist ideals from the previous century influenced artists and scholars in Europe. Italy was at the end of their High Renaissance of arts and culture, when artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci painted their masterpieces. In 1517, about eight years before Bruegel's birth, Martin Luther created his Ninety-Five Theses and began the Protestant Reformation in neighboring Germany. The Catholic Church impinged increasingly more upon the European way of life and art. Perhaps most importantly for artists, the Council of Trent, which concluded in 1563, determined what art was appropriate in Catholic states.

At this time, the Netherlands was divided into seventeen provinces, some of which wanted separation from the Catholic Church, which controlled the provinces from their bastion in Spain. The Netherlands was influenced by the newly Lutheran Germany to the east and the newly Anglican England to the west, as evidenced by the rise of Protestantism. Since the Habsburg monarchs of Spain were the enforcers of the Catholic Church and the Catholic Counter-Reformation in Western Europe, Protestantism in the Netherlands came heavily under fire.

The Spanish monarch, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, passed the Edict of Blood in 1550. Death was the penalty for heresy to the Catholic Church; however, Charles did not enforce this edict. His son, Philip II of Spain, whose actions became a source of great unrest in the Netherlands during the 1560s, enforced the Edict of Blood. Calvinism became increasingly popular in the Netherlands despite the threat of death. Philip’s murder plot against a Dutch prince, William the Silent, the ever-present Spanish soldiers led by the hated Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba and Calvinist riots brought the Netherlands to the brink of rebellion.

This was the atmosphere in which Bruegel reached the height of his career as a painter. Two years before Bruegel's death, the Eighty Years' War began between the Netherlands (led by William the Silent) and Spain. Although Bruegel did not live to see it, seven provinces became Protestant, while the other ten remained under Catholic control at the end of the war.[2]


Subjects


Pieter Bruegel specialized in genre paintings populated by peasants, often with a landscape element, but he also painted religious works. Making the life and manners of peasants the main focus of a work was rare in painting in Bruegel's time, and he was a pioneer of the genre painting. His earthy, unsentimental but vivid depiction of the rituals of village life—including agriculture, hunts, meals, festivals, dances, and games—are unique windows on a vanished folk culture, though still characteristically of Belgian life and culture today, and a prime source of iconographic evidence about both physical and social aspects of 16th century life. For example, his famous painting Flemish Proverbs, originally The Blue Cloak illustrates dozens of then-contemporary aphorisms, many of which still are in use in current Flemish, French, English and Dutch), and Children's Games shows the variety of amusements enjoyed by young people. His winter landscapes of 1565 (e.g. The Hunters in the Snow) are taken as corroborative evidence of the severity of winters during the Little Ice Age.

Using abundant spirit and comic power, he created some of the very early images of acute social protest in art history. Examples include paintings such as The Fight Between Carnival and Lent (a satire of the conflicts of the Protestant Reformation) and engravings like The Ass in the School and Strongboxes Battling Piggybanks.[3] On his deathbed, he reportedly ordered his wife to burn the most subversive of his drawings to protect his family from political persecution resulting from conflicts between the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation.


The sins and virtues

During the late 1550s in Antwerp, Bruegel designed engravings for the leading publisher of the city, Hieronymous Cock, at the House of the Four Winds. He achieved the greatest success with a series of allegories: The Seven Deadly Sins and The Virtues. It is easy to see his compatriot Hieronymous Bosch's influence in these engravings: the sinners are grotesque and unidentifiable while the allegories of virtue often wear odd headgear.[4]


Peasants

By 1558, Bruegel began painting more than drawing or carving. He primarily painted religious scenes in a Belgian setting, such as in his paintings, Conversion of Paul and The Sermon of St. John the Baptist. In the 1560s, Bruegel began painting the ordinary life of peasants. Often Bruegel painted a community event, as in The Peasant Wedding and The Fight Between Carnival and Lent. In paintings like The Peasant Wedding, Bruegel painted individual, identifiable people while the people in The Fight Between Carnival and Lent are unidentifiable, muffin-faced allegories of greed or gluttony.

Although Bruegel often painted scenes of carousing and community gatherings, he often accurately depicted cripples or people with disabilities. Perhaps one of Bruegel’s most famous paintings was The Blind Leading the Blind. Not only was Bruegel's subject matter unusual, but it also depicted a quote from the Bible: "If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch" (Matthew 15:14). Using the Bible to interpret this painting, the six blind men are symbols of the blindness of mankind in pursuing earthly goals instead of focusing on Christ's teachings.


Netherlandish Proverbs, 1559, oil on oak wood

Even if Bruegel's subject matter was unconventional, the religious ideals and proverbs driving his paintings were typical of the Northern Renaissance. The Flemish provided a large artistic audience for proverb-filled paintings because proverbs were well known and recognizable as well as entertaining. One of Bruegel's most famous paintings was Netherlandish Proverbs, painted in 1559. The majority of Bruegel's paintings have many different actions occurring at once, but this painting, with over 110 proverbs, must have been one of his most symbolically laden paintings.[5]


Months of the year
The Hunters in the Snow, 1565, oil on wood

Paintings of proverbs were not Bruegel's only subjects. In 1565, a wealthy patron in Antwerp, Niclaes Jonghelinck commissioned him to paint a series of paintings of each month of the year. Today, only five of these paintings survive and some of the months are paired to form a general season. Traditional Flemish books of hours (e.g., the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry;[6] 1416) had calendar pages that included depictions of what the social life, the weather, and the landscape supposedly would have looked like for that month.

Bruegel's paintings were on a larger scale than a typical calendar page painting, each one approximately three feet by five feet. For Bruegel, this was a large commission (the size of a commission was based on how large the painting was) and an important one. In 1565, the Calvinist riots began and it was only two years before the Eighty Years' War broke out. Bruegel may have felt safer with a secular commission so as to not offend Calvinist or Catholic.[7] Some of the most famous paintings from this series included The Hunters in the Snow (December–January) and The Harvesters (August).


Family

Pieter the Elder had two sons: Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder (both changed their name to Breughel). Their grandmother, Mayken Verhulst, trained the sons because "the Elder" died when both were very small children. The older brother, Pieter Brueghel, was not the better painter of the two; he copied his father's style but without any degree of great talent. Jan was more successful; he turned to the Baroque style and even collaborated with Peter Paul Rubens on the Allegory of Sight.[8]

Other members of the family include Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Mayken Verhulst (father-in-law and mother-in-law to Pieter Bruegel the Elder), Jan van Kessel, senior (grandson of Jan Bruegel the Elder) and Jan van Kessel, junior. Through David Teniers, the family is also related to the whole Teniers family of painters and the Quellinus family of painters and sculptors, since Jan-Erasmus Quellinus married Cornelia, daughter of David Teniers the Younger.

Work referenced in others' work
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, c. 1558, oil on canvas mounted on wood

His painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus is the subject of the 1938 poem "Musée des Beaux Arts" by W. H. Auden:

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.[9]

It also was the subject of a 1960 poem by William Carlos Williams and was referenced in Nicolas Roeg's 1976 science fiction film The Man Who Fell to Earth.
Two Monkeys, 1562, oil on panel

Bruegel's painting Two Monkeys was the subject of Wisława Szymborska 1957 poem, "Brueghel's Two Monkeys".[10]

Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky referenced Bruegel's paintings in his films several times, notably Solaris (1972) and The Mirror (1975).

His 1564 painting The Procession to Calvary inspired the 2011 Polish-Swedish film co-production The Mill and the Cross, in which Bruegel is played by Rutger Hauer.

Bruegel's paintings in the Kunsthistorisches Museum are shown in the 2012 film, Museum Hours, where his work is discussed at length by a guide.

It is believed that his painting The Hunters in the Snow influenced the classic short story with the same title written by Tobias Wolff and featured in In the Garden of the North American Martyrs.

Seamus Heaney referenced Breughel in his poem "The Seed Cutters".

David Jones references the painting The Blind Leading the Blind in his World War One prose-poem In Parenthesis: 'the stumbling dark of the blind, that Breughel knew about - ditch circumscribed'


Selected works
See also: List of paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Harvesters (painting)

There are about 45 authenticated surviving paintings, one third of which are in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. A number of others are known to have been lost. There are a large number of drawings. Bruegel only etched one plate himself, The Rabbit Hunt, but designed many engravings and etchings, mostly for the Cock publishing house.

Twelve Proverbs, 1558, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp
Naval Battle in the Gulf of Naples, 1560, Galleria Doria-Pamphilj, Rome
The Fall of the Rebel Angels 1562, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels
The "Little" Tower of Babel, c. 1563, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam
The Procession to Calvary, 1564, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
The Adoration of the Kings, 1564, The National Gallery, London
Massacre of the Innocents, c. 1567, versions at Royal Collection, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, at Brukenthal National Museum, Sibiu,[11] and at Upton House, Banbury
Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap, 1565, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, inv. 8724
Landscape with Christ and the Apostles at the Sea of Tiberias, 1553, probably with Maarten de Vos, private collection
Ass at School, 1556, drawing, Print room, Berlin State Museums
Parable of the Sower, 1557, Timken Museum of Art, San Diego
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, c.1554–55, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels – Note: Now seen as a copy of a lost authentic Bruegel painting[12]
The Blue Cloak (or Flemish Proverbs), 1559, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
The Fight Between Carnival and Lent, 1559, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Portrait of an Old Woman, 1560, Alte Pinakothek, Munich
Children's Games, 1560, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Temperance, 1560
The Suicide of Saul (Battle Against The Philistines on the Gilboa), 1562, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Two Small Monkeys, 1562, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
The Triumph of Death, c. 1562, Museo del Prado, Madrid
Dulle Griet (Mad Meg), c. 1562, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp
The Tower of Babel, 1563, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Flight To Egypt, 1563, Courtauld Institute Galleries, London
The Death of the Virgin, 1564, (grisaille), Upton House, Banbury
The Months, a cycle of probably six paintings of the months or seasons, of which five remain:
The Hunters in the Snow (Dec.–Jan.), 1565, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
The Gloomy Day (Feb.–Mar.), 1565, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
The Hay Harvest (June–July), 1565, Lobkowicz Palace at the Prague Castle Complex, Czech Republic
The Harvesters (Aug.-Sept.), 1565, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Return of the Herd (Oct.–Nov.), 1565, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery (1565), Courtauld Institute of Art, London
The Calumny of Apelles, 1565, drawing, British Museum, London
The Painter and the Connoisseur, drawing, c. 1565, Albertina, Vienna
Preaching of John the Baptist, 1566, Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest)
The Census at Bethlehem, 1566, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels
The Wedding Dance, c. 1566, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit
Conversion of Paul, 1567, Kunsthistorishes Museum, Vienna
The Land of Cockaigne, 1567, Alte Pinakothek, Munich
The Adoration of the Magi in the Snow, 1567, Oskar Reinhart Collection, Winterthur
The Magpie on the Gallows, 1568, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt
The Misanthrope, 1568, Museo di Capodimonte, Naples
The Blind Leading the Blind, 1568, Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples
The Peasant Wedding, 1568, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
The Peasant Dance, 1568, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
The Beggars (The Cripples), 1568, Louvre, Paris
The Peasant and the Nest Robber, 1568, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
The Three Soldiers, 1568, The Frick Collection, New York City
The Storm at Sea, an unfinished work, probably Bruegel's last painting.
The Wine of Saint Martin’s Day, Museo del Prado, Madrid (discovered in 2010)

Prints

Large Fish Eat Small Fish, 1556, a print after a Bruegel design

References

van Mander's Bruegel biography in Dutch
Foote, Timothy (1968). The World of Bruegel. Library of Congress: Time-Life Library of Art. pp. 18–27.
Mayor, A. Hyatt. Prints & People: A Social History of Printed Pictures. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971, 426.
Foote, Timothy (1968). The World of Bruegel. Library of Congress: Time-Life Library.
Stokstad, Cothren, Marilyn, Michael (2010). Art History- Fourteenth to Seventeenth Century Art.
Stokstad, Cothren, Marilyn, Michael (2010). Art History- Fourteenth to Seventeenth Century Art.
Foote, Timothy (1968). The World of Bruegel. Library of Congress: Time-Life Library.
"Pieter Bruegel, the Elder". World History in Context. Encyclopedia of World Biography.
Foote, Timothy (1986). The World of Bruegel. Time-Life Library. p. 149.
Szymborska, Wislawa (1995). View With a Grain of Sand. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 3.
Masterpieces of the Brukenthal Collection
(Het journaal 1–11/11/09). "deredactie.be". Vrtnieuws.net. Retrieved 12 November 2009.[dead link]

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