The Populated Landscapes of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

I’ve been looking at more work by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, lately. Actually, I was keen on him and Bosch when I was very small. I used to look at their work and get lost in all the details, even if they frightened me a bit. Most people confuse him with Bosch, heck there’s a even a Bosch-Bruegel Society, but Bruegel I find makes me more uneasy — I don’t know why. He is best known for depictions of peasant life; festivals, weddings, dancing, the effects of war. They are so beautifully done, and yet you can almost smell the filth that diseases like the plague find so hospitable. They very much have that Flemish look to them, the one you recognize in Bosch, Memling, Durer, van Eyck and even some of the still life paintings that came much later.

Here are my favorites (click for larger)…

He would spawn a mini dynasty of artists. His wife was an artist (the daughter of an artist herself), both children became artists (Jan and Pieter the Younger), and so on.

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