Scenes from the village life
by Pieter BRUEGEL the Elder

The subjects most frequently treated by European painters in Bruegel's day and age were taken from the spheres of religion and classical antiquity. These included scenes from biblical history along with the heroes and gods of the Greeks and Romans, and portraits of high-ranking personages. The buildings to be seen in these pictures were commonly palaces and town or city halls - magnificent edifices, in other words, not crofts and thatched houses, not such dwellings as would call to mind the arduous life in the country. It was only in the Netherlands that things differed in this respect. Many artists in this country incorporated their everyday milieu into their pictures, painting not only rich and important men but also nameless people - the peasants, the agricultural workers, their dwellings, their villages.

In his day, Bruegel was the most important of these painters displaying a pronounced realistic touch. It is true that he included a biblical scene in his painting of The Census at Bethlehem; he depicted it so completely integrated into the pastoral life, however, that it can scarcely be made out at first glance.

Preview Picture Data Info
The Fight between Carnival and Lent
1559
Oil on panel, 118 x 165 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


The Fight between Carnival and Lent (detail)
1559
Oil on panel, width 38 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


The Fight between Carnival and Lent (detail)
1559
Oil on panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


The Fight between Carnival and Lent (detail)
1559
Oil on panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


The Fight between Carnival and Lent (detail)
1559
Oil on panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


The Fight between Carnival and Lent (detail)
1559
Oil on panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


The Census at Bethlehem
1566
Oil on oak, 116 x 164 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


The Census at Bethlehem (detail)
1566
Oil on oak
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


The Census at Bethlehem (detail)
1566
Oil on oak
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


The Census at Bethlehem (detail)
1566
Oil on oak, width of detail 54 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


The Census at Bethlehem (detail)
1566
Oil on oak, width of detail 49 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


The Census at Bethlehem (detail)
1566
Oil on oak
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


The Census at Bethlehem (detail)
1566
Oil on oak, width of detail 54 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


The Census at Bethlehem (detail)
1566
Oil on oak, width of detail 49 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


The Census at Bethlehem (detail)
1566
Oil on oak
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


The Census at Bethlehem (detail)
1566
Oil on oak, width of detail 54 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels



Summary of works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Paintings
Landscapes | Children's games | Proverbs
Village life | Demons and devils | Tower of Babel
Series of Months | Religious themes | St John the Baptist
Peasant life | Large figures | Miscellaneous
Graphics



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