Portrait of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder Painting Reproductions 4 of 4

c.1525-1569

Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter

Pieter Bruegel the Elder or Brueghel (c.1525 - September 9, 1569) was a Netherlandish Renaissance painter and printmaker known for his landscapes and peasant scenes (Genre Painting). He is nicknamed 'Peasant Bruegel' to distinguish him from other members of the Bruegel dynasty, but is also the one generally meant when the context does not make clear which "Bruegel" is being referred to. From 1559 he dropped the 'h' from his name and started signing his paintings as Bruegel.

Life
There are records that he was born in Breda, Netherlands, but it is uncertain whether the Dutch town of Breda or the Belgian town of Bree, called Breda in Latin, is meant. He was the son of a peasant residing in the village of Breugel. 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 painters' guild. He traveled to Italy soon after, and then returned to Antwerp before settling in Brussels permanently 10 years later. He died there on 9 September 1569. Other accounts give 1590 as the date of his death.

He was the father of Pieter Bruegel the Younger and Jan Bruegel the Elder. Both became painters, but as they were very young children when their father died, neither received any training from him. According to Carel van Mander, it is likely that they were instructed by their grandmother.

Style
In Bruegel's later years he painted in a simpler style than the Italianate art that prevailed in his time. The most obvious influence on his art is the older Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch, particularly in Bruegel's early "demonological" paintings such as The Triumph of Death and Dulle Griet (Mad Meg). It was in nature, however, that he found his greatest inspirations as he is identified as being a master of landscapes. It was in these landscapes that Bruegel created a story, with almost several scenes seemingly combined in one painting. Such works can be seen in The Fall of the Rebel Angels and the previously mentioned The Triumph of Death.

Themes
Bruegel specialized in landscapes populated by peasants. He is often credited as being the first Western painter to paint landscapes for their own sake, rather than as a backdrop to a religious allegory.

Attention to the life and manners of peasants was rare in the arts in Bruegel's time. 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 and a prime source of iconographic evidence about both physical and social aspects of 16th century life. For example, the painting Netherlandish Proverbs illustrates dozens of then-contemporary aphorisms, and Children's Games shows the variety of amusements enjoyed by young people. His winter landscapes of 1565 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 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 Reformation) and engravings like The Ass in the School and Strongboxes Battling Piggybanks. On his deathbed he reportedly ordered his wife to burn the most subversive of his drawings to protect his family from political persecution.

87 Bruegel the Elder Paintings

The Procession to Calvary (Detail), 1564 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

The Procession to Calvary (Detail) 1564

Canvas Print
$56.06
SKU: BEP-6467
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: unknown
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

Adoration of the Magi in Winter Landscape, 1567 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

Adoration of the Magi in Winter Landscape 1567

Oil Painting
$3504
Canvas Print
$50.21
SKU: BEP-6468
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 35 x 55 cm
Oskar Reinhart Museum, Winterthur, Switzerland

Massacre of the Innocents, c.1565/67 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

Massacre of the Innocents c.1565/67

Oil Painting
$12563
Canvas Print
$50.21
SKU: BEP-6469
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 109.2 x 158.1 cm
The Royal Collection, London, United Kingdom

The Sermon of St. John the Baptist, 1566 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

The Sermon of St. John the Baptist 1566

Oil Painting
$22871
Canvas Print
$50.21
SKU: BEP-6470
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 95 x 160.5 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary

The Return of the Herd (Autumn), 1565 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

The Return of the Herd (Autumn) 1565

Oil Painting
$6349
Canvas Print
$55.07
SKU: BEP-6471
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 117 x 159 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

Parable of the Blind, 1568 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

Parable of the Blind 1568

Oil Painting
$6514
Canvas Print
$71.09
SKU: BEP-6472
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 86 x 154 cm
National Museum of Capodimonte, Venice, Italy

The Beggars, 1568 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

The Beggars 1568

Oil Painting
$2451
Canvas Print
$50.21
SKU: BEP-6473
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 18.5 x 21.5 cm
Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Two Monkeys, 1562 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

Two Monkeys 1562

Oil Painting
$971
Canvas Print
$50.21
SKU: BEP-6474
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 19.9 x 23.3 cm
Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

Haymaking, 1565 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

Haymaking 1565

Oil Painting
$8508
Canvas Print
$55.34
SKU: BEP-6475
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 116.2 x 160.7 cm
National Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic

The Assault, 1567 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

The Assault 1567

Oil Painting
$7652
Canvas Print
$50.21
SKU: BEP-6476
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 94 x 125 cm
Stockholm University Art Collection, Stockholm, Sweden

Saint Martin's Day, n.d. by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

Saint Martin's Day n.d.

Oil Painting
$5873
Canvas Print
$98.41
SKU: BEP-12216
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 92.5 x 73.5 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple, n.d. by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple n.d.

Oil Painting
$11882
Canvas Print
$50.21
SKU: BEP-12217
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 102 x 155 cm
National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Misanthrope, 1568 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

The Misanthrope 1568

Oil Painting
$4171
Canvas Print
$76.10
SKU: BEP-12218
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 85 x 85 cm
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte , Napoli, Italy

Massacre of the Innocents, 1565 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

Massacre of the Innocents 1565

Oil Painting
$12563
Canvas Print
$92.34
SKU: BEP-12219
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 116 x 160 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

The Fall of the Rebel Angels, 1562 by Bruegel the Elder | Painting Reproduction

The Fall of the Rebel Angels 1562

Oil Painting
$27105
Canvas Print
$54.93
SKU: BEP-12220
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Original Size: 117 x 162 cm
Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium

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