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

The Suicide of Saul (detail)

Oil on panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Bruegel has shifted the scene of the battle between the Israelites and the Philistines to an extensive landscape, portraying not the struggle between individual soldiers but that between masses of fused armoured entities equipped with prickles. People like King Saul and his squire, who have both thrown themselves upon their swords, appear small and insignificant against the broad expanse of nature.