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About Pieter Bruegel the Elder


 Pieter Bruegel, 1525?-1569

Pieter Bruegel the Elder was the greatest of the Flemish sixteenth-century masters. He painted most of his pictures in the 1560s, the decade in which the stern Duke of Alva arrived in the Netherlands.

His nickname Peasant Bruegel indicates to his subjects: peasant life, proverbs and genre scenes, the New Testament topics set among common folks of Flanders. He painted peasants merrymaking, feasting, and working, and so people have come to think of him as one of the Flemish peasants.

Pieter Bruegel

Most of the scholars consider that he was born near Breda between 1525- 1530. Until 1559 he spelt his name Brueghel, then as Bruegel. In 1551 Bruegel became a Master of the Antwerp Guild.

During the last six years of his life Bruegel was much influenced by Italian Renaissance art, whose monumentality of form he found increasingly sympathetic. This influence is evident in The Peasant Wedding, The Peasant Dance and The Peasant and the Bird nester.

The surviving pictures of Bruegel are under fifty.

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