Pieter Brueghel the Elder

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Bruegel's The Painter and The Connoisseur drawn c. 1565 is thought to be a self portrait

Pieter Brueghel the Elder or Bruegel (c.1525September 9, 1569) was a Flemish painter known for his landscapes and peasant scenes. There are records that he was born in Broghel near Breda, but it is unsure whether the Dutch town of Breda or the Belgian town of Bree, called Breda in Latin, is meant. From 1559 he dropped the 'h' from his name and started signing his paintings as Bruegel.

He was an apprentice of Pieter Coecke van Aelst, whose daughter Mayke he later married, and was in 1551 accepted as a master in the painters' guild of Antwerp. He travelled to Italy soon after, and then returned to Antwerp before settling in Brussels permanently 10 years later. He died there on 9 September, 1569.

He was the father of Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder who both became painters, but as they were still infants when their father died; neither received any training from him.

Bruegel specialised in landscapes populated by peasants, painted in a simpler style than the Italianate art that prevailed at the time. The most obvious influence on his art is the older Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch. He is nicknamed 'Peasant Brueghel' to distinguish him from other members of the Brueghel dynasty, but is also the one generally meant when the context does not make clear which "Brueghel" is being referred to.

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. His winter landscapes of 1565 are corroborative evidence of the severity of winters during the Little ice age.


1 See Also
2 Portrayals in literature
3 Other Resources


Missing image
Bruegel's Netherlandish Proverbs, 1559, with peasant scenes illustrating over 100 proverbs
Missing image
The Tower of Babel 1563, oil on board
A detail of Children Playing
A detail of Children Playing
Missing image
The Peasant Wedding 1568
Missing image
Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap
  • Large Fish Eat Small Fish 1556, Albertina, Vienna
  • Ass at School 1556, Kupferstichkabinett Staatliche Museen, Berlin
  • Landscape with the Fall of Icarus c.1558, Mus饠des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
  • Netherlandish Proverbs 1559, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Gemaldegalerie, Berlin
  • The Fight Between Carnival and Lent 1559, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
  • Children's Games 1560, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
  • Saul (Battle Against The Filistines On The Gilboa) 1562, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
  • Two Small Monkeys 1562, Staaliche Museen, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin
  • The Triumph of Death c. 1562, Museo del Prado, Madrid
  • Dulle Griet (Mad Meg) c. 1562, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp
  • The Tower of Babel 1563, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
  • Flight To Egypt 1563, Courtauld Institute Galleries, London
  • The "Little" Tower of Babel c. 1563, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam
  • The Procession to Calvary 1564, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
  • The Adoration of the Kings 1564, The National Gallery, London
  • The Months. A cycle of 6 or 12 paintings of the months or seasons from the Book of hours of which five remain:
    • The Hunters in the Snow (Dec.-Jan.) 1565, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
    • The Gloomy Day (Feb.-Ma.) 1565, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
    • Hay-Harvest (June-July) 1565, National Museum, Prague
    • The Harvesters (Aug.-Sept.) 1565, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
    • The Return of the Herd (Oct.-Nov.) 1565, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
  • Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap 1565, Wiltshire, Wilton House
  • The Calumny of Apelles 1565, British Museum, London
  • Massacre of the Innocents c. 1565, Hampton Court, U.K./Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
  • The Painter and the Connoisseur c. 1565, Albertina, Vienna
  • Preaching Of John The Baptist 1566, Beaux Arts Museum, Budapest
  • Census at Bethlehem 1566, Mus饠des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
  • The Wedding Dance c. 1566, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit
  • Conversion Of Paulus 1567, Kunsthistorishes Museum Wien, Vienna
  • The Land of Cockaigne/Land Of Milk And Honey 1567, Alte Pinakothek, Munich
  • The Blind Leading the Blind 1568, Museo Nazionale, Napoli
  • The Peasant Wedding 1568, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
  • The Peasant Dance 1568, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
  • The Beggars 1568, Louvre, Paris
  • The Peasant and the Nest Robber 1568, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
  • The Death of the Virgin
  • The Fall of the Rebel Angels, Mus饠des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

See Also

Portrayals in literature

  • Rucker, R. (2002). As above, so below: A novel of Peter Bruegel. New York: Forge.
  • Michael Frayn (2000) Headlong, ISBN 0571201474. A novel in which a young art historian discovers the lost painting from The Months cycle.
  • Gert Hofmann's novella Der Blindensturz (1985) depicts the figures in The Blind Leading the Blind coming to life.

Other Resources


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)


  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Personal tools