BRUEGEL, Pieter the Elder
(b. ca. 1525, Brogel, d. 1569, Brussel)
Gloomy Day (detail)1565
Oil on panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
This detail shows the economy and spontaneity of Bruegel's technique. On the light brown gesso ground of the panel he has sketched in the castle, the mountain tops and the clouds with a few deft strokes of white and blue pigments, using a lightly loaded, almost dry, brush. While we admire such freedom of brushwork, it was not of course Bruegel's intention that the paintings should be examined in details such as this. The Months were to be seen from a distance, high up above the panelling of a large room.