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

The Census at Bethlehem (detail)

Oil on oak
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

Mary with the Christ child is sitting on a donkey, the ox visible behind her. Joseph is striding out in front of them in the direction of the inn where the tax collectors or census officials are. Otherwise, no one in Bruegel's depiction of a winter village square is interested in the biblical figures.