BRUEGEL, Pieter the Elder
(b. ca. 1525, Brogel, d. 1569, Brussel)
The Beekeepers and the Birdnesterc. 1568
Pen and Indian ink, 203 x 309 mm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin
Honey was the most important sweetener in those days. The colonies of bees were smoked out in autumn; the peasants would then catch new colonies in spring. Bruegel will have found a special attraction in the opportunity offered him by the beekeepers of portraying them as anonymous, faceless people.