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

Children's Games (detail)

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.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.