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Meet the Masters

Grade Four

ARTIST: PRINT:

BRUEGHEL, PIETER, (Broo-gl, PEE-ter) (1525-1569)

THE HARVESTER'S MEAL PRIVATE COLLECTION BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

Northern Renaissance Date: Unknown Size: Unknown Medium: Unknown

ARTIST - Pieter Brueghel, The Elder, was a Flemish artist of the sixteenth century. He studied in Antwerp and was a registered member of the Antwerp Guild. In 1563, he moved to Brussels, married, and began raising a family. He had a successful life as a painter and was a member of a distinguished group of humanists. His favorite subjects were peasants and country scenes. His paintings are often called 'genre' (daily life) paintings. He painted peasants merrymaking, feasting, and working and because of this people sometimes think of him as one of the Flemish peasants. He was even nicknamed “Peasant Brueghel.” He believed that peasant life was rough and saw it in relationship to the background of nature. Brueghel’s peasants are stolid, hearty members of the community. He portrayed them in broad, flat areas of color, with structural perspective and grandeur of composition. His two sons, (Pieter, The Younger, and Jan, called Velvet), both became painters. The name Brueghel is also spelled Bruegel depending on the reference book used, particularly for Pieter, The Elder.

PRINT - The painting The Harvester's Meal is very typical of the type of picture Brueghel painted. In this picture some of the peasants (farm laborers) are working in the fields, while a group of people in the foreground are enjoying a simple meal. Typically, the activities of man are Brueghel's dominant theme in his painting. The artist handles the entire scene in a most characteristic way and records it in a broad technique. He ignores the traditional Flemish concern for detail and emphasizes active, solidly drawn figures. He combines strong local colors to give the painting a popular robustness suited to its subject.

PORTFOLIO D PAIRED WITH:

TOYOHARU INTERIOR AND LANDSCAPE

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