Pieter Bruegel The Elder ~ Index

Header Photo: The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c. 1563
Oil on panel, 114 cm × 155 cm (45 in × 61 in)
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

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Pieter Bruegel The Elder ~ Biog. I

Bruegel (Brueghel, Breughel), Pieter I (c.1525/30 - 69)

The painter Pieter Breughel is mainly known as a chronicler of everyday life in the Flemish countryside with paintings such as Proverbs and Children's games, but Breughel's work has another side which reminds us of Hiëronymus Bosch (+1516).

Like with all early artists the warning morality was a large factor. People felt they were surrounded by a hostile world filled with natural and human violence, epidemic diseases and other threats for which they had no other explanation but the hands of fate. It was left to artists and the clergy to show how destiny could be influenced favourably. Nevertheless, Breugel was light-hearted as well. He evoked a feeling of alienation by placing playful scenes before impressing and beautifully painted landscapes and with hilarious exaggeration "Pieter the funny one", as was his nickname, provoked laughter amongst his contemporaries.

Pieter Bruegel The Elder ~ Biog. II

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, sometimes also called Peasant Bruegel, was the most important satirist in the Netherlands after Bosch and one of the greatest landscape painters.

The date of his birth may be guessed at from the fact that he became Master in the Antwerp Guild in 1551: immediately after this he went to France and Italy (c.1552), travelling as far south as Sicily. He was in Rome in 1553 and returned over the Alps, probaly in 1554. The Alps, and to a lesser extent the scenery of Italy, made a deep impression on him, as may be seen from the drawings he made on the journey and also from the whole development of his landscape style. The art of Italy seems to have made little impact on him.

On his return he began to make drawings for engravers, very much in the manner of Bosch and dealing with the same subjects. His earliest dated painting is of 1553, and in the last ten or twelve years of his life he produced the genre scenes and the religious subjects set in vast landscapes which are his finest works.

The old nickname Peasant Bruegel is misleading if it is held to mean that he himself was a peasant: on the contrary, he was highly cultivated and is known to have enjoyed the friendship of humanists and the patronage of the Emperor's representative, Cardinal Granvelle. Later, many of his finest works belonged to the Emperor Rudolf II. His attitude, and that of his patrons, is hard to define since it is not simply condescending but seems to show a real interest in his portrayal of village customs coupled with a satirical approach to drunkenness, gluttony, and other sins of the flesh. Some pictures - for example the Massacre of the Innocents - have been held to be veiled allusions to the Spanish Fury and the subjection of the Netherlands in general, and it has also been suggested that Bruegel's move from Antwerp to Brussels c.1563 was due to his membership of a heretical sect and fear of persecution: yet he was certainly patronized by Cardinal Granvelle and Brussels was the centre of orthodoxy and of government.

The great series of the Months (or Seasons) consists of five pictures (now in Vienna, Prague and New York), all but one dated 1565. They have no moral message comparable with his earlier works, such as the Fall of the Rebel Angels or the Dulle Griet, but they are among the great landscape paintings of the age, influenced by Patenier and even Titian, but surpassing both in their feeling for nature and the unity of man and his surroundings.

The best collection of his works is in Vienna, but there are others in the Royal Coll. and in Antwerp (Mus. v.d. Bergh), Berlin, Madrid (Prado), Munich, Naples, New York (Frick Coll.), Paris (Louvre), Philadelphia, Rome (Doria), Rotterdam, St Petersburg, Upton House nr. Banbury (NT) and Washington (NG).

Source: The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists (Penguin Reference Books)

The Bruegel Family

Painters

Bruegel.   Family of Flemish painters flourishing in the 16th and l7th centuries whose most important members are listed above and below. Various spellings of the name have been used such as the later 'Breugel' and 'Brueghel'. The greatest of the family, Pieter Breugel the Elder, was also its founder.

Source: The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists (World of Art)

Jan Bruegel the Elder

Painter

Jan Bruegel the Elder (Brueghel, Breugel).   Flemish painter, the son of Pieter Breugel the Elder; he painted flowers, landscapes and Garden of Eden subjects in a highly finished manner which won him the nickname 'Velvet Bruegel.'

Source: The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists (World of Art)

Jan Bruegel the Younger

Painter

Jan Bruegel the Younger (Brueghel, Breugel).   Flemish painter, the close follower of his father, Jan Bruegel the Elder. He often painted his highly finished flower studies and landscapes on copper.

Source: The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists (World of Art)

Pieter Bruegel the Younger

Painter

Pieter Bruegel the Younger (Brueghel, Breugel).   Flemish painter, the son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, he imitated the fantasy subjects of his father, earning the nickname 'Hell Bruegel'. Snyders was his pupil and his son, Pieter Bruegel III, was also a painter.

Source: The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists (World of Art)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder ~ Gallery Notes

Gallery of the key works from the master. Pardon the pun but The Tower of Babel towers over the rest of the work and in many ways overwhelmes it. Just an astonishingly powerful painting - the likes of which I haven't seen anywhere else.

You don't need to know anything about it to realise it's one of the most powerful images in the history of art.

For that work alone, you have to place Bruegel up there with Bosch in terms of his importance in the development of the fantasical element of art finding a way to the forefront.

I just adore that painting or rather the two of the three he painted that has survived. The darker piece has a really menacing feeling; the lighter draws you in by the beauty of the detail.

Two paintings to take you to the huge landscapes of the mind.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder ~ Gallery

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Little Tower of Babel, c.1563
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Little Tower of Babel, c. 1563
(Thumbnail Detail From...)
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.
© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Tower of Babel. 1563. Oil on panel. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Tower of Babel, 1563
Oil on panel. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.
(Thumbnail Detail From...)
© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Tower of Babel. Detail. 1563. Oil on panel. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Tower of Babel, (Detail) 1563
(Thumbnail Detail From...)
Oil on panel. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Tower of Babel. 1563. Oil on panel. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Tower of Babel, (Detail) 1563
Oil on panel. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.
(Thumbnail Detail From...)
© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Tower of Babel. Detail. 1563. Oil on panel. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Tower of Babel, (Detail) 1563
(Thumbnail Detail From...)
Oil on panel. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - De toren van Babel
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
De toren van Babel, 1563
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© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Fall of Icarus
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Fall of Icarus
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© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Tower of Babel. 1563
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Tower of Babel, 1563
Oil on panel. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.
(Thumbnail Detail From...)
© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Peasant Dance, 1568
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Peasant Dance, 1568
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© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Peasant Wedding, 1568
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Peasant Wedding, 1568
(Thumbnail Detail From...)
© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Childrens Games
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Childrens Games
(Thumbnail Detail From...)
© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Death
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Death
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© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Proverbs
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Proverbs
(Thumbnail Detail From...)
© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Rebel Angels
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Rebel Angels
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© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Adoration
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Adoration
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© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Hunters in the Snow, 1565
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Hunters in the Snow, 1565
(Thumbnail Detail From...)
© Estate of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Links

Pieter Bruegel the Elder Texts: Biog. I >> Biog. II >> The Bruegel Family >> Jan Bruegel the Elder >> Jan Bruegel the Younger >> Pieter Bruegel the Younger

Pieter Bruegel The Elder Images: Gallery

Pieter Bruegel the Elder Wares: The Triumph of Death Canvas Print >> Pieter Bruegel The Elder Parastone Sculptures >> Pieter Bruegel The Elder Fine Art prints are available at Allposters.com >> Advertise >> Pieter Bruegel The Elder Books and Dvds available @ amazon.com

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