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

The Ass in the School

Pen and Indian ink, 232 x 302 mm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The population of the Netherlands provinces had a high level of education - indeed, an Italian traveller even ventured the opinion that everyone could read and write. Bruegel is laughing at his countrymen's eagerness to learn: the caption comments that "An ass will never become a horse, even if he goes to school."