Pieter  Brueghel the Elder 

Birth Year : 1525
Death Year : 1569
Country : Belgium

Pieter Brueghel (or Breugel), the great Flemish artist of the sixteenth century, was born in Brueghel, near Breda. According to the Dutch historian van Mander, he studied in Antwerp, first with the engraver Pieter Coecke van Aelst, and then, in about 1550, with Hieronymous Cocke. By 1551, when he set out on a long trip to Italy, he was an active, registered member of the Antwerp Guild. During his Italian journey, Brueghel made many sketches from nature and disregarded the antique monuments that so impressed other northern artists. Upon his return to Antwerp in about 1555, Brueghel made drawings for etchings by Cocke. He moved to Brussels in 1563, married and began raising a family.

Brueghel had a successful life as a painter and a stimulating one as a member of a distinguished group of humanists. His paintings of peasant life, his landscapes, and his religious subjects are realistic and often satiric. An optimist and a naturalist, he believed that peasant life was rough, rather than vulgar, and saw it in relationship to the larger background of nature. Brueghel's peasants are painted in a manner that emphasizes their stolidity. He portrayed them in broad, flat areas of color, reminiscent of Giotto, with very little modeling or shadow, and with Giotto's structural perspective and grandeur of composition. Although objective and open in his approach to his genre scenes, Brueghel was by no means simple in his proverbial and religious paintings, which are presented with a grandeur of landscape that engenders an uneasy feeling of man's smallness and futility in face of the universe. Brueghel died in 1569, while still a young man, leaving behind two sons, Jan, called Velvet, and Pieter, the Younger, both of whom became painters.

Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Peasants' Dance

Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Farmer's Wedding

Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Winter, Hunters in the Snow

Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Children's Games

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