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
Pieter Bruegel The Elder Images: Gallery
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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).
The Bruegel Family
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.
Jan Bruegel the Elder
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.'
Jan Bruegel the Younger
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.
Pieter Bruegel the Younger
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.
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 Images: Gallery
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Wares: The Triumph of Death Canvas Print >> Pieter Bruegel The Elder Parastone Sculptures >> Pieter Bruegel canvas prints @ ebay.com (direct link to canvas prints) - just checked and a bigger selection than I have seen anywhere else >> Advertise >> Pieter Bruegel The Elder Books and Dvds available @ amazon.com