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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bruegel, Pieter the Elder


Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
c. 1558
Oil on canvas, mounted on wood
73.5 x 112 cm
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
http://www.fine-arts-museum.be/

Pieter Bruegel (Brueghel) the Elder (c. 1525 – 1569) was a Flemish renaissance painter.
He received the nickname 'Peasant Bruegel' or 'Bruegel the Peasant' for his alleged practice of dressing up like a peasant in order to mingle at weddings and other celebrations, thereby gaining inspiration and authentic details for his genre paintings.

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 Netherlandish genre painting. His paintings, including his landscapes and scenes of peasant life, stress the absurd and vulgar, yet are full of zest and fine detail. They also expose human weaknesses and follies.
Using abundant spirit and comic power, he created some of the early images of acute social protest in art history. On his deathbed he reportedly ordered his wife to burn the most subversive of his drawings to protect his family from political persecution.

He was the father of Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder. Both became painters, but as they were very young children when their father died, it is believed neither received any training from him.
http://www.imaginarymuseum.net/view/flipcard