Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bruegel -- a Landscape Painter?

At the time they killed each other on the question whether faith alone was sufficient to reach heaven or whether good works were of higher value.

Bruegel: The Blind Leading the_Blind
In public domain according to 

Because of this quarrel, some charities lost prestige and beggars became suspect of using make-up to fool the softies.

It is not known whether the lurid diagonal composition with that Catholic church in the background is meant to cover up or expose political anger.

Bruegel may have been a Calvinist and had to fear the Inquisition. This would at least explain why so little is known about his life. It might also explain why even now his work is sometimes described and sold as "landscape paintings".--

This child is from a painting called "Peasant Wedding". It's not the only place where he makes a child look so dull.

All the beauty -- and at times very much of it -- goes into some distant background.
But the people are ugly and silly, and unhappy.

It is difficult to find a beautiful lady, for instance, though I think there are some in a famous painting by him, where  a picnic party or some public fiesta seems to be going on. It is the hour before the execution of Jesus who is almost invisible, though placed in the center of the composition, dragging his cross up the hill:

There, in the foreground, there are some ladies in beautiful robes: the Virgin Mary and her friends attending the terrible celebration.

Next to them there is a white horse to draw your attention to a bar just aboe it: the cross, and Jesus falling beneath it. 

And did you notice that little windmill high up on that rock? (How does the miller carry his bags of wheat up to the top and as flour back down?)

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