Talk:Pieter Bruegel the Elder

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The museums here could use jinks, many have articles. -- Jmabel 00:24, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

Agreed. It can get a little heavy to link every occurance in a list, but it would be worth linking the first time a museum appears, ad possibly a few more. -- Solipsist 06:26, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

As good as the Wiki entry is, it is a little lacking in the details, the WGA has very good info, and I will add it to the bottom of the wiki entry. Additional links will probably be added as I finish a research paper about him. I will also add some additional information via link. -- Nick 20:20, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Replaced Little Tower of Babel, with a better version of the other Tower Babel from Commons. -- Solipsist 09:57, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Date of death[edit]

Does anyone have a source Brueghel's date of death being on 9 September? Its been in the article for a while, but I can't find an external online corroborating source, but two sites ([1], [2]) suggest 5 September. The difference doesn't seem to be enough to be a Julian calendar issue. -- Solipsist 19:08, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Six years on, and I came here to ask precisely the same question. The Dutch article says 9 September, but the German and French both say 5 September.
It's definitely not a Julian/Gregorian issue, unless someone's applied the Gregorian retrospectively, which they shouldn't have done to begin with, BUT done it very inaccurately to boot. The Gregorian started in 1582, the difference in that century being 10 days, not 4. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 22:43, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

List of works[edit]

How complete is the list of works? Is there a figure for the number of surviving works by the artist? Rmhermen 22:29, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

Found my own answer -45 paintings. I expanded our list to 44 so apparently we are missing one painting. Rmhermen 00:02, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Temptation of Saint Anthony?[edit]

Why isn't the temptation of Saint Anthony on his list of works? Giamgiam 16:53, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

It may be the missing one from the list of 45, but it looks like this painting is often attributed to a 'follower of Pieter Bruegel the Elder'. For example here at the National Gallery of Art, Washington where it is currently held. -- Solipsist 19:00, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Third version of Tower Babel ?[edit]

Lucas van Valckenborch II? - The Tower of Babel - Musée d'Art et d'Histoire (Geneva).jpg

What about this "third version" of Tower of Babel from commons ? Badly attributed or desired 45th painting? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jklamo (talkcontribs) 16:51, 1 January 2007 (UTC).

Change Spelling to Most Common Use Which is "Bruegel"[edit]

Brueghel is not the common spelling for Pieter the Elder. All major museums and monographs about the artist have the "Bruegel" spelling. The "Brueghel" spelling should link to "Bruegel" and not visa versa, which is currently the case. If you need verification that "Bruegel" is the preferred spelling look at the Detroit, NY, Vienna, etc. and you will see this to be the case. Please correct this as soon as possible. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bruegelpie (talkcontribs) 17:42, 16 January 2007 (UTC).

I second this action. It's also mentioned in just about every modern study of the artist (in contrast to his sons who have the "h", and Google even seems to support it (about 70,000 hits for "Pieter Bruegel the Elder" vs. about 25,000 for "Pieter Brueghel the Elder"). --Stomme 07:28, 18 May 2007 (UTC)


This term is not very clear. As a Netherlander, I automatically read it to mean Dutch, as I'm sure many others would. Although it may be technically correct in an historical context, "Dutch or Flemish" is much clearer for the general reader; or instead the slightly more general term "Northern Renaissance." --Theranos 17:32, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

BTW The Dutch and French-language wikipedias both describe him as Flemish. --Theranos 17:40, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

um, then let's find a veritable source to prove it and we change it to match.Klimintine 22:04, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

As the article says, no one knows which modern area he was born in. Johnbod 00:03, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Johnbod is right here, and while it may sound odd to some or come with built-in perceptions for many, the term Netherlandish is the common historical way to discuss art of the Low Countries before 1588 (or chose your favorite date). It is used when deciding on Dutch or Flemish (which come with even stronger national ties) is not completely satisfactory. Therefore, most current art historical literature (and recent exhibitions) are siding with "Natherlandish". The tendency to call everything "Flemish" (going back centuries when every northerner was a "flammingo" in Italy) is slightly out-dated and I don't see any reason to perpetuate it further. --Stomme 00:28, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Someone should create a proper page for the term "Netherlandish" then. The (redirected) link provides no clear definition. For the general reader like myself the meaning is not obvious. Or alternatively a footnote should be included with a definition of Netherlandish, especially if it is to be included in the opening line. Remember these articles are meant to be aimed at a general readership. --Theranos 13:10, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
True. We have Early Netherlandish painting but a short quasi-disam article on the adjective itself would be useful. Johnbod 14:13, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi all. Even though the Netherlands (terminology) page seems to have some in-fighting, it does have some information in its subsections Low Countries and Netherlandish. I usually link to the main Low Countries page when talking about the historical notion of the Netherlands (and its adjectives), so we at least have some of the information out there already. --Stomme 15:38, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Speaking of which, I just saw that Theranos did exactly what I mentioned above in this article, in linking to Low Countries. That's been my preference too.--Stomme 15:44, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I have included the two words in the single link. It makes it more apparent at a glance that this is specific piece of terminology rather than just an ad-hoc adjective plus noun. --Theranos 15:52, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I think that works well. It's a fairly peaceable page compared to some, no? and the subject of, erm, Netherlandish nomenclature is certainly complex and confusing. Johnbod 15:54, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I think it would also be useful to synchronise the introduction sentences of all the Brueghel pages in line with this one. At the moment all the others read "Flemish painter," which for the casual browser seems to contrast with "Netherlandish Renaissance painter." Perhaps a useful change would be to expand the opening line of the other biographies with something like "Flemish painter of the Netherlandish Renaissance." P.S. Yes some of the other wiki pages do get pretty heated!! --Theranos 09:00, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Good idea. Johnbod 14:18, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
One caveat: I think by the time we are talking about his sons Pieter II and Jan, they fit comfortably in with the historical Flemish label, and are also no longer Renaissance. While Pieter II, to a degree, can still keep the label northern (or Netherlandish) Renaissance since his output was largely slavish copies of his father's, I prefer to think of this as a case of seventeenth-century taste and maintaining traditions. Jan, on the other hand, most definitely bridges the gap between mannerism and the Flemish Baroque of Rubens, with whom he frequently worked. Jan's still-lifes and flora are Baroque by (most) any criteria, while his early landscapes (Christ Preaching on the Harbour, for instance) belong to a solid "universal landscape" mannerist trend. Once we pass 1568 or 1582 or 1609 or whatever date seems reasonable I am less concerned with the whole Dutch/Flemish issue, but there are many times when giving the facts is a nice substitute for trying to put a label on someone. My introduction to Otto van Veen is an example of deliberately avoiding such labels: Born in Leiden, active in the Spanish Netherlands (in Brussels and Antwerp), but also painted political histories for the young Dutch Republlic. Much of his tradition is still Netherlandish, rather than Dutch or Flemish. Despite all of this, I appreciate that we're trying to get something organised. There have been some good essays recently on the "Flemish issue" in art and I highly recommend Hans Vlieghe's "Flemish Art, Does It Really Exist?" (Simiolus: Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art, vol. 26, no. 3, 1998, pp. 187-200) (which he wrote after completing his survey Flemish Art and Architecture, 1585-1700).--Stomme 15:49, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I took "all the Brueghel pages" to mean his paintings, not his family. I agree with your points (without knowing too much about the other B's). Johnbod 15:55, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Then I whole-heartedly agree :) . But my misunderstanding gave me some enjoyable rant-time, which is always fun! --Stomme 16:22, 28 September 2007 (UTC)


According to my McGraw-Hill textbook, Pieter Bruegel the Elder was Flemish, and that is the commonly-accepted term (I looked his name up in an encyclopedia, and he is listed as being Flemish).

Unless someone can provide explicit proof that Pieter Bruegel the Elder was Dutch ("Netherlandish", as you have seemed to call it), then I am going to go ahead and change the article to say he was Flemish.

Whether or not we know completely for sure what region he was from, the convention seems to be that he was Flemish, and I think it would be a shame to mislead readers of Wikipedia by instilling in them unconfirmed/untrue data.

--Scottytheking (talk) 21:07, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

ETA: Sorry, I saw the note. I won't change it. But I urge you all to change it to Flemish, as one would look like a fool if he were to describe Bruegel as being Netherlandish in conversation or writing.

--Scottytheking (talk) 21:10, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Has the hidden note "<-- Please see talk page discussion before altering this description.-->" in the lede really been there since 2007? There seem to be some recent moves to change the description. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:02, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

- Calling Pieter Bruegel a 'Flemish painter' is confusing and wrong in every way. Firstly, because he did not came from Flanders en never worked there in his entire life. And secondly, because his art is generally not considered to be part of the 'movement' of the 'Early Netherlandish painters' or the 'Flemish Primitives', where the term 'Flemish' originally comes from. Furthermore, the subject matter of Bruegel's art is deeply rooted in the culture of the Netherlands and deals with Netherlandish themes, as written in for instance Gardner's Art Through the Ages, edition 12 (p. 562-564): 'Unlike other artists, however, Bruegel chose not to incorporate classical elements into his paintings (...) Hunters in the Snow refers back to older Netherlandish traditions of depicting seasons and peasants (...) beyond this typically Netherlandic winter scene lies a bit of Alpine landscape (...) Among the paintings that capture the Netherlandish obsession with proverbs during the 16th century is Bruegel's Netherlandish Proverbs (...) In addition to capturing the Netherlanders' morality and mentality, Netherlandish Proverbs serves more generally as a study of human nature. It is therefore quite absurd and confusing to call a painter 'Flemish', when his art concerns the mentality and the nature of the Netherlands. The term 'Dutch Renaissance painter' would be more appropriate, especially because the general movement is called 'Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting' on Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:13, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

I disagree. Calling someone a Dutch painter is rather akin to calling someone a Belgian one - it is a term attached to a modern polity. I know that Dutch used to be used to talk about the entire Low Countries but that is not what the average (or even non-average) reader would reasonably suspect. Would "netherlandish" be a good compromise? To my mind, Flemish is still the best option though. —Brigade Piron (talk) 08:08, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

- He's not being called 'a Dutch painter', but 'a painter from Brabant', which is after all where he was born. 'Dutch Renaissance painter' in this sense refers to the general movement 'Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting' on Wikipedia (which is the page where the link is leading us). At first I changed it into: 'Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painter', but the administrator thought it was confusing. 'Dutch Renaissance painter' is in that regard a better option than 'Flemish Renaissance painter', since Bruegel was not born in Flanders, was not educated nor ever worked in Flanders, and was not part of the 'Flemish Primitives'. 'Netherlandish' is an option, but it does not refer to the name of the general movement. The change was after all a reaction on Pieter Bruegel being called a 'Flemish Renaissance painter' when referring to the general movement 'Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting' on Wikipedia. This is, like I pointed out, simply wrong and confusing. Could you explain why you think it's still the best option? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:04, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

I must agree to user "Brigade Piron". People would interprete "Dutch" in its modern meaning: "from the Netherlands". "Netherlandish" is a possibility to indicate the entire Low Countries, although this term -unfortunately- doesn't exist and may be misunderstood as well. I agree to the previous respondent that "Flemish" is ambiguous as well, since it historically refers to the county of Flanders, whereas Bruegel indeed never worked nor lived there. The best adjective imo would be Belgian, since we only know that he lived in Antwerp and Brussels, both situated in modern-day Belgium. Regarding his place of birth, it is not at all clear whether he was born in the present-day Netherlands (Breda or Breugel) or in present-day Belgium (Bree or Grote-Brogel). You could say that "Belgian" perfectly covers all we know (for sure) about Bruegel's where-abouts and that it is the only option that cannot be misunderstood by readers with limited historical background on this region. (talk) 11:21, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

The Belgian Renaissance? That's of course absurd. Again, the name refers to the general movement, and since 'Dutch' in this case refers to the general movement 'Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting', the term 'Dutch Renaissance painter' is more factual than 'Flemish Renaissance painter'. The sources state that Bruegel was either born in Breda or Bruegel (in Brabant) (Grote-Brogel is not mentioned). This is reflected in the second part of the sentence: 'a painter from Brabant'. (talk) 15:45, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

  • "Netherlandish" does exist, contrary to an assertion above, and is the proper term used by art historians in English. Contributors from the Low Countries please note, this is the English Wikipedia, and the meaning that this group of terms have in the English language is what matters here. Johnbod (talk) 15:10, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Passage reverted[edit]

Michael Frayn's novel Headlong describes the history of The Months and the possible discovery of the missing sixth painting.

I've reverted this passage from the 'See also' section--it seems out of place and too specific. If an article is written devoted to an overview of The Months, it might be relevant under a Legacy or Influence heading. Possibly the book is notable enough to merit its own article. JNW (talk) 15:37, 31 May 2008 (UTC)


up until 1559, Bruegel signed his paintings with "h," spelling Brueghel. he started signing Brugel in 1559. apparently his 2 sons retained the "h." could someone put that up? it'll probably look like vandelizm if I do it. -- (talk) 02:00, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

It's in the intro. JNW (talk) 02:10, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
wow owned, didn't see that before, thanks haha-- (talk) 02:17, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

His birth name in the "Pieter Bruegel the Elder" box on the right should be changed from "Pieter Bruegel" to "Pieter Brueghel" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:10, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

How many authenticated paintings?[edit]

This article says "about 45". Would anybody have a source for that? Over on this page there are ninety-nine paintings attributed to Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Could somebody clarify the situation? Thanks. (talk) 20:43, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I took some German art courses at University and I seem to remember Bruegel the Elder had hundreds of paintings / bookplates. I will research my old texts and see if it gives a number.Anneaholaward (talk) 15:42, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

It's not that many - his son & others did loads of copies, and there was great over-attribution in the past. He designed, but did not execute himself, perhaps a hundred or more prints - is this what you mean by "book plates"? - and there are a few drawings. Johnbod (talk) 21:35, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Brussels, "now the Netherlands"[edit]

Underneath his assumed self-portrait is written :

died: 9 September 1569(1569-09-09) (age 44) Brussels, Habsburg Netherlands (now the Netherlands)

I find this rather confusing as I seem to recall that Brussels is the capital of Belgium and is not situated in the Netherlands anymore. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

I changed "now the Netherlands" to "now Belgium". Brussels is indeed the capital of Belgium. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Timusuke (talkcontribs) 17:55, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

It seems to me that the description of Bruegel's work could be more elaborate and more qualitative. This is not your run-of-the-mill painter. He is, in fact, and not that arguably, one of the greatest painters ever, and certainly one who was exceptional for his time. It also might be mentioned not only that he painted genre scenes, but that, unusually so, he painted neither portraits nor work for the Church (altarpieces, frescoes, etc.). Since he was not paid by the nobility (for portraits) or the church, how did he live? Did his work benefit from the rise of wealthy merchants? Also, while Bruegel is known for his peasant scenes, he is also known for showing the church in a reduced relationship to the common folk and the countryside and that this was a commentary in favor of the Reformation. In addition to these intellectual concepts, Bruegel's paintings are not merely landscapes--for example "The Peasant Wedding," one of his masterpieces, is not a landscape at all, except perhaps in its extraordinary structure and complexity. Bruegel is one of the few true masters and Wikipedia can do better than to depict him as just another Flemish painter. I'd do this revision, but I'm new to Wikipedia and am not sure about what to do, what's permissible, etc. Also, it would be nice if someone with an art history doctorate did it (if they agree).</1--gednyc--> — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gednyc (talkcontribs) 01:43, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Pronunciation of the name[edit]

I'm not an expert in IPA, but it seems to indicate that his name is pronuced witha hard G as one does in the north (where I'm from). Hoever, he is from the south, where they tend to use a soft G. Which is correct? (talk) 15:40, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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