Pieter Bruegel The Elder

Dutch 🇳🇱 1525-1530 – 1569

Pieter Bruegel the Elder was a significant figure in Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes. Born around 1525-30 near Breda, Netherlands, into a peasant family, Bruegel’s work celebrated the common mass of humanity, contrasting with the religiously pious paintings of the Renaissance. His paintings, including “The Fight between Carnival and Lent” and “The Hunters in the Snow,” depicted rural working life, religion, and superstition with humor and skepticism. Despite his early death in 1569, Bruegel’s influence extended beyond the Renaissance, inspiring future artists and contributing to the development of Dutch Golden Age painting and the Realism of the 19th century.

Pieter Bruegel was a pioneer of "genre painting" and specialized in genre paintings populated by peasants. Making the life and manners of peasants the focus of his work was rare in painting during in Bruegel's time.