Thursday, July 19, 2012

PIETER BRUEGEL (Brueghel) the Elder

The current window display shows a poster of the artist Pieter Bruegel (Brueghel) the Elder; c. 1525 – 9 September 1569) was a Fleming Renaissance painter known for his landscapes and peasant scenes. He is sometimes referred to as the "Peasant Bruegel" to distinguish him from other members of the Brueghel dynasty, but he is also the one generally meant when the context does not make clear which Brueghel is being referred to. From 1559 he dropped the 'h' from his name and signed his paintings as Bruegel.

Children playing poster
The children, who range in age from toddlers to adolescents, roll hoops, walk on stilts, spin hops, ride hobby-horses, stage mock tournaments, play leap-frog and blind man's bluff, perform handstands, inflate pigs' bladders and play with dolls and other toys. They have also taken over the large building that dominates the square. 

This crowded scene is to some extent relieved by the landscape in the top left-hand corner; but even here children are bathing in the river and playing on its banks.

The artist's intention for this work is more serious than simply to compile an illustrated encyclopaedia of children's games, though some eighty particular games have been identified.

Books about the artist are available and some interesting old toys are on display.

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