BRUEGEL, Pieter the Elder
(b. ca. 1525, Brogel, d. 1569, Brussel)

Children's Games (detail)

Oil on wood
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The painter's intention here is more serious than simply to compile an illustrated encyclopedia of children's games, though some eighty particular games have been identified. He shows the children absorbed in their games with the seriousness displayed by adults in their apparently more important pursuits. Bruegel's moral is that in the mind of God children's games possess as much significance as the activities of their parents.