December 01, 2020

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The Bruegel Dynasty. Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Bruegel Dynasty. Pieter Bruegel the Elder

This week series is dedicated to the Brueghel dynasty. A name of a family that became a mark of excellence in the arts and the most important group of Flemish artists working between the 16th and 17th centuries.

The family includes Pieter Brueghel the Elder,  Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Jan Brueghel the Younger, Ambrosius Brueghel, Abraham Brueghel, Jan Peter Brueghel and Jan Van Kessel.

Our focus will remain in the most important ones, and we begin by Peter Brueghel (or Bruegel) the Elder (1525 – 1569).

He is renowned for his genre paintings, usually landscapes and peasant scenes. We can literally spy many rituals of village life, everyday scenes that are a source of iconographic evidence of  16th-century life.

Some of his subjects included painting of proverbs, month of the year, Tower of Babel, peasants life, sins.

Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky referenced Bruegel’s paintings in his films several times, notably Solaris (1972) and The Mirror (1975). Also, Lars Von Trier also uses Bruegel’s paintings in his film Melancholia (2011).

Following, some of his most famous and accomplished works.


The Wedding Dance 1566. Oil on pane 119.4 cm × 157.5 cm (47 in × 62 in) Museum Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan
The Peasant Wedding, 1566–69, oil on panel. 124 cm × 164 cm (49 in × 65 in) Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum
The Hunters in the Snow, 1565, oil on wood Monthly cycle, scene. Height: 1,170 mm (46.06 in). Width: 1,620 mm (63.78 in) Kunsthistorisches Museum
The Tower of Babel (1563), oil on panel Dimensions 114 cm × 155 cm (45 in × 61 inches) Museum, Vienna,
The Blind Leading the Blind, 1568 (or The Parable of the Blind)
The Triumph of Death 1562 - 1563. Oil on panel, 117 x 162 cm. Museo Nacional del Prado


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