Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1525 – 1569 *** Full Name: Pieter Bruegel *** Place of Birth: Pieter Bruegel the Elder was born in Habsburg, Netherlands ***Education: Pieter Bruegel the Elder began his artistic education apprenticed to Pieter Coecke van Aelst *** Pieter Bruegel the Elder died on September 9, 1569
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 1: Date and Place of Birth – Pieter Bruegel the Elder was born in 1525 the exact date is not known due to thelack of accurate birth records during this period. His place of birth was in Habsburg, Netherlands.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 2: Little is known about his parents but it is believed that they were quite wealthy and of good standing in the community. A number of Bruegel's paintings focus on the lives of Flemish commoners, which would eventually earn him the nickname of "peasant Bruegel"
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 3: Pieter Bruegel the Elder became apprenticed to Pieter Coecke van Aelst, a leading Antwerp artist who had located in Brussels. He would spend some time in France and Italy before travelling to Antwerp and finally settling in Brussels.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 4: Pieter Bruegel the Elder went on to marry Mayken Coecke van Aelst, the daughter of Pieter Coecke van Aelst. He would have two sons, Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brughel the Elder and a daughter, Marie.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 5: Pieter Bruegel the Elder became a master in the painters' Guild of Saint Luke between 1551 and 1552
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 6: In 1556 Bruegel entered the house of the Antwerp publisher Hieronymus Cock as a designer for engravings. His pen drawing of 'Big Fish Eat Little Fish' was published in 1557 as an engraving but Hieronymus Cock, substituted the name of artist Hieronymus Bosch name for Pieter Bruegel's name in order to exploit the fashion for Bosch's works in Antwerp.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 7: Pieter Bruegel the Elder was greatly influenced by the ideas of Dirck Coornhert (1522 – 1590). Dirck Coornhert was a Dutch writer, philosopher, and theologian, often referred to as the Father of Dutch Renaissance scholarship. He wrote in favor of tolerance, during the era of strong religious intolerance, Humanist ideals and opposed capital punishment for heretics. Dirck Coornhert openly criticised the ceremonies of both the Protestant and Catholic churches.Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 12: His research into the lives of Flemish peasants can be seen in his work entitled 'Netherlandish Proverbs', which depicts over 100 proverbs in the familiar setting of a Flemish village. The Fight Between Carnival and Lent, The Peasant Wedding and Children’s Games also depict peasant scenes
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 8: Pieter Bruegel the Elder reflected on human weakness in his art and focussed on man's avarice, the extreme greed for wealth or material gain. Pieter was, however, a practical man and in order to obtain commissions from the religious community he was seen to participate in the old, conventional forms of worship.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 9: Bruegel was, in fact, patronized mainly by wealthy businessmen, scholars, and art connoisseurs, and was on friendly terms with some of the most prominent Flemish humanists of the era.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 10: The subjects of his work varied enormously and included landscapes, religious and biblical scenes, allegories, characters and legends from classical, ancient mythology and scenes from peasant life.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 11: Pieter Bruegel the Elder became famous for disguising himself in peasant garb to be able to attend celebrations and weddings so that he could gain authentic details for his work.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 13: The allegorical compositions of Pieter Bruegel the Elder were frequently of a religious character, as the two engraved series of The Vices (1556–57) and The Virtues (1559–60).
Pieter Bruegel the Elder Fact 14: Pieter Bruegel the Elder died on September 9th 1569 in Brussels and his body was laid to rest in Notre-Dame de la Chapelle in Brussels.
List of Famous Works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: *** The Blind Leading the Blind *** Landscape with the Fall of Icarus *** The Hunters in the Snow *** Netherlandish Proverbs *** The Peasant Wedding *** Two Monkeys *** The Harvesters *** Massacre of the Innocents *** The Tower of Babel *** The Vices *** The Virtues
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