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

The Tower of Babel (detail)

Oil on oak panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Foreign merchants, new religious groupings, and the city's rapid growth led to problems of orientation and communication in Antwerp. An allegory for this situation was seen in the biblical account of the Tower of Babel: in- tended to reach up to heaven, it displeased God, who stripped humankind of their common language, thereby preventing the completion of the tower's construction.

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