BRUEGEL, Pieter the Elder
(b. ca. 1525, Brogel, d. 1569, Brussel)
Children's Games (detail)1559-60
Oil on wood
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Bruegel has portrayed over 250 children on this panel. They are playing with pieces of wood, with bones, with hoops and barrels - specially crafted toys were rare in the 16th century. Their faces often appear ageless: perhaps the painter wished to warn the observer against frittering away his life as if it were a childlike game.