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Pieter Bruegel (Brueghel Pieter)

( The last great artist of the Renaissance in the Netherlands.)

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Biography Pieter Bruegel (Brueghel Pieter)
(ca. 1525-1569)
Biography of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, painted in 1604 by the Dutch artist and historian-biographer Karel van Mander, is the main source of information about the wizard. According to Van Mander, Pieter Bruegel (sometimes spelled his name Breughel or Bruegel) became a member of the Guild of St.. Luke in Antwerp, v1551, it suggests that he was born roughly between 1525 and 1530. Place of birth and the circumstances of his life in his youth for the most part unknown. It is believed that Bruegel was a disciple of Peter Cook Van Aalst, and later worked with the publisher Hieronymus Kock, who engraved many of the paintings by Brueghel. During 1552 and 1553 Bruegel traveled to Italy and even reached Sicily. Returning from there in 1554, he studied the Alps. After some time he lived in Antwerp and finally settled in 1563 in Brussels. Here he married and has achieved prosperity, using the recognition of contemporaries and getting more than enough orders from influential patrons. Bruegel died in Brussels on Sept. 5, 1569. Two of his sons, Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564-1638) and Jan Brueghel (1568-1625), also became well-known artists
. The earliest works of Brueghel - landscape paintings, . some of which are fixed subtle observation of nature, . other techniques practiced and studied landscape painting of the Venetians and other northern masters of older generation, . such, . as Joachim Patinir (ca,
. 1485-1524) and Herri Met de Blesa (ca. 1480-1550). It's a combination of direct, direct observation with conventional formulas and creates the effect of ineffable appeal of paintings by Brueghel. The artist considered the landscape not merely as decoration but as an arena in which the unfolding human drama. One of the earliest of his paintings - The Fall of Icarus (c.. 1558, Brussels, Royal Museum of Fine Arts). In this picture on a hill overlooking the bay studded with ships, a farmer, a shepherd and the fisherman engaged in their daily work. None of them did not notice hitting the water feet Icarus, sinking away from the shore. Bruegel treats the spectacle of his death as a minor detail in the undisturbed rhythm of the universe.

One of the main themes in the works of Bruegel is an image of human weakness and stupidity - the legacy of the late medieval thought. In his picture Big fish eats the small (1556, Vienna, Albertina) shows the small fry, get out of lying on the bank of huge fishes. Again, as the name is taken proverb, apparently hinting at the excesses and gluttony. In the battle scenes and the post carnival (ca. 1559), Kids games (approx. 1560, both - Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), Netherlands proverbs (ca. 1560) shows a crowd in the village square. Although the names of paintings by Brueghel precise in its descriptiveness, each of them, apparently, is also an ironic commentary on the pointlessness of human activity.

Brueghel enriched images stupidity, resurrecting the monstrous and the fantastic creation of Hieronymus Bosch (c.. 1450-1516). These creatures appear in the series of engravings of drawings by Bruegel Coca Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Virtues (1558). Boshovsky spirit reappears in the later paintings by Brueghel, like Angels (1562, Brussels Royal Museum of Fine Arts) and the Mad Greta (1562, Antwerp, Museum Mayer van den Berg).

In many paintings of the master characters portrayed in all its details and colorfully dressed, are deprived of an individual resembling masks. Bruegel never been interested in human individuality. It usually takes the average person from the medieval mystery plays, and it is an anonymous humanity inhabits the space environment of outstanding religious paintings by the artist. In Triumph of Death (c.. 1562, Prado), the sound popular at the time the theme is reinforced by the dances of death scenery, inspiring both awe and gloomy horror, in which an army of skeletons destroys all living. In Carrying the Cross (1564, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum) also shows the vast expanses filled with faceless hordes of rough. In the middle of the process is in no way released the figure of Christ falling under the weight of the cross and almost lost in the crowd indifferent.

Brueghel wanted his audience saw the gospel story in light of contemporary life in Flanders. In two scenes - Massacre of the Innocents (c.. 1566, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum) and the Census in Bethlehem (1566, Brussels, Royal Museum of Fine Arts) - as the entourage uses a typical snow-covered landscape of the Flemish village of Breughel times. In the second of them, Joseph and Mary barely discernible among the townspeople. In the painting The Tower of Babel (1563, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), filled with boshovskimi characters, the tower itself is placed on the background of the rural landscape, very similar to 16 in Flanders.

Perhaps the most magnificent paintings by Brueghel - five landscapes, known as Four Seasons or Months (1565), depicting Flemish rural nature in different seasons. Few artists have the ability to capture the mood is so sensitive a particular time of year and to express the inner relationship between a person with the rhythm of nature. In the picture Hunters in the Snow (1565, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum) shows the world, bound winter cold. In a typical arrangement pattern used for painting by Brueghel reception - tall forward, offering a view of extending the bottom of the valley. Diagonals of lines of trees, roofs and hills turn and look at the audience is strictly inside the space pictures, where people work and entertain. All their activities are in the silence of the frosty air. Trees and the figures are depicted as frozen silhouette against the background of a gray winter landscape, and the peaks of a peaked roof is echoed indentations of the mountains in the distance. In this painting, The Harvest (1565, New York, Metropolitan) from the same series shows the sun-drenched field, located on a group of peasants it adjourned for the noon meal

. Van Mander characterizes as Breughel peasant artist, but this estimate omits the obvious complexity of the master's and probably comes from the subjects of his paintings have earned popularity, . depicting rugged daily lives of residents of the Flemish village,

As in the beginning and the end of his career Brueghel reflects on innate human stupidity. The picture shows a Misanthrope (1568, Naples, National Museum and Gallery of Capodimonte), is the inscription: 'Because the world is so crafty, I go in sackcloth' and depicts a spiteful dwarf stealing a purse from the surly old man. The painting Blind (1568) was the six blind men staggering, are a chain to the stream, in which the first one has already fallen. The picture is linked with the words of the Gospel parable (Matthew 15:14) - 'And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the pit'.

Brueghel has many faces: he was both a moralist and medieval landscapes in the modern sense, was truly northern artist, and yet his paintings marked Italian influence. Some consider him an orthodox Catholic, others - an adherent of a heretical sect. However, these paradoxes are not irreconcilable. Greatness Bruegel is in the approval of the inextricable link between man and nature, and deeply humane vision of Christian history as a living reality.

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