Pieter Bruegel paintings
Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525/30 Breugel or Antwerp? – 1569 Brussels), “The Haymaking,” 1565, oak panel, 114 × 158 cm, Prague, The Lobkowicz Collections, Lobkowicz Palace, Prague Castle © The Lobkowicz Collections

The Kunsthistorisches Museum is currently showing the first-ever major monograph exhibition dedicated to the 16th-century Netherlandish painter, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525/30–1569). The exhibition commemorates the 450th anniversary of his death.

Museums and private collectors count Bruegel’s works among their most precious and fragile possessions. Most of the panels have never been loaned for an exhibition.

Pieter Bruegel paintings
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, “View of the Bay of Naples,” c. 1563?, panel, 42.2 × 71.2 cm, Rome, Galleria Doria Pamphilj © Rome, Galleria Doria Pamphilj

By bringing together over 90 works by the master, the exhibition in Vienna has assembled a comprehensive overview of Bruegel’s oeuvre. Comprising around 30 panel paintings (i.e., three-quarters of extant paintings) and almost half of his preserved drawings and prints, the show offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse themselves in the artist’s complex pictorial world, to study his stylistic development and his creative process, and to get to know his method of work, his pictorial humor, and his unique narrative powers.

Pieter Bruegel paintings
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, “Dulle Griet,” 1563, panel, 117.4 × 162 cm, Antwerp, Museum Mayer van den Bergh © Museum Mayer van den Bergh
Pieter Bruegel paintings
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, “The Triumph of Death,” probably after 1562, wood 117 × 162 cm, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado © Museo Nacional del Prado
Pieter Bruegel paintings
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, “Two Monkeys,” 1562, oak, 19.8 × 23.3 cm, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie / Christoph Schmidt

“Bruegel” is on view at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna, Austria) through January 13, 2019.

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