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

Winter Landscape with Skaters and a Bird Trap (detail)

Oil on panel
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

People are enjoying themselves on the ice; meanwhile, the birds are endangered through a door rigged to function as a deadfall. Since several of the birds have been painted as large as the people in the picture, some would interpret this work not only as depicting a winter landscape but also - primarily - as being intended as a warning to the observer to be on his guard against constant danger.