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)

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Deleting information[edit]

I don't know why Johnbod felt it was necessary to change this article (since it already was a good article before he started editing), but it doesn't give him the right to change information without using the TP and without using sources. C.Gesualdo (talk) 17:59, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

  • FYI Johnbod has been editing this article since 2007 and has contribited more edits than any other editor to this article. You have very very very few edits here in comparison...Modernist (talk) 20:54, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
It was a pretty poor article before I started expanding it. C.Gesualdo has now twice tried to restore unreferenced and incorrect details on points I had put correctly and referenced. To judge from his talk page he rather makes a habit of such edits. They won't work here. Johnbod (talk) 20:34, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
C.Gesualdo has been warned repeatedly about his editing habits and just came off a long block for edit warring. Apparently he intends to keep at it. freshacconci talk to me 20:48, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
First of all: stop deleting things without using the TP. Secondly, stop adding things without using a proper source. Thirdly, you're not very well informed so having a big mouth about this makes it a bit painful. To give you an example: it is very clear that there is in fact a town named 'Bruegel', so to say [the town Bruegel] does not fit any known place is complete nonsense. Also: Bruegel 'was the most significant artist of the 15th century', how on earth do you intend to prove this? What the hell are you doing anyway to this article? This article was fine until you showed up to add this nonsense. @Freshacconici, in contrast to you I do like to read nonsense, and again I wasn't the one who made these edits without using the TP and without using sources. C.Gesualdo (talk) 20:56, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

I've filed an ANI here. I'm finding it's useless to discuss any issue with this editor. freshacconci talk to me 20:57, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

What the hell is your problem? This nonsense: Guicciardini recorded that Bruegel was born in Breda, but van Mander specified that Bruegel was born in a village near Breda called "Brueghel",[3] which does not fit any known place.[4] is clearly wrong, and you are reporting me? Can it be more pathetic? C.Gesualdo (talk) 21:04, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

From Johnbod's TP: Why are you deleting my contributions on the Pieter Bruegel article? And at the same time stating things that are clearly not true? C.Gesualdo (talk) 17:48, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Because they're, wrong, unreferenced, and contradict all the sources? Which master of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting did you have in mind as being as equally significant? Johnbod (talk) 20:35, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
You state: '[the town Bruegel] does not fit any known place' and you're calling me 'wrong, unreferenced, and contradict all the sources'. You have got to be kidding me? 'Bruegel' is generally viewed as one of the two places (and the most probable one) where he was born. You obviously don't know what you're talking about. Then about the 'most important painter'. Apart from the fact that you can never make such a bold claim, I would say that Bosch is a far more important painter than Bruegel. Then your wrong translation: 'nearby Breda', it doesn't say 'nearby Breda' anywhere in Van Mander. Also your claim (again: without sources) that 'nothing at all is known of his family background'. This is clearly erroneous. In fact his family background clearly point to the town Bruegel in the Duchy of Brabant. If you want to edit things, at least know what you're talking about. C.Gesualdo (talk) 21:20, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Well, do you have any references on any of these points? Grove says: "According to van Mander, Bruegel was born in the village of Breughel near Breda; however, none of the three Flemish villages of that name is close to Breda. Probably van Mander’s statement is a biographer’s commonplace, and he assumed that Bruegel was of peasant origin because he painted peasants. There is, in fact, every reason to think that Pieter Bruegel was a townsman and a highly educated one, on friendly terms with the humanists of his time. Guicciardini, an Italian contemporary of Bruegel’s who lived in Antwerp, was probably more correct when he wrote that the artist came from Breda. Auner (1956) has also argued for Breda as his birthplace, adducing several historical references to support this view. In the register of the Antwerp Guild of St Luke, the painter’s name appears as ‘Brueghels’: the ‘s’ is a regular patronymic suffix in Dutch, whereas a place of origin would be indicated by ‘van’. It may be, however, that an ancestor of Bruegel’s was, after all, born in a village of the same name, which then became the family’s surname."[1] Van Mander says (as quoted in my note) "...den welcken is geboren niet wijt van Breda, op een Dorp geheeten Brueghel, welcks naem hy met hem ghedraghen heeft, en zijn naecomelinghen ghelaten." My Dutch isn't as good as yours, I'm sure, but that looks like "near Breda" to me. I haven't seen B en Son mentioned in any of the many books I'm using at the moment. Coming from Breda is not a "family background" - what did his father do? We don't know. Johnbod (talk) 21:26, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  1. ^ Alexander Wied and Hans J. Van Miegroet. "Bruegel." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 10 Feb. 2017. <>.
You deleted my contributions which had references. I referred to the RKD who made a reference to Sellink, the main authority on Bruegel. 'Niet wijt van Breda' is not the same as 'nearby Breda'. 'Niet wijt van Breda' means 'not far from Breda'; which is open to interpretation. Grove is probably basing itself on Orenstein who in turn is basing herself on rather outdated publications like Van Bastelaer. First of all, there are not three Flemish villages. In fact there's isn't even one since we're talking about either the Duchy of Brabant (which Van Mander specified) or the Prince-Bishopric of Liège (which is highly unlikely). Secondly, there were family members of Bruegel in Brussels and Paul de Ridder's research shows that they had possessions in the north of the Duchy of Brabant, especially in the town of Bruegel. So to say that '[the town Bruegel] does not fit any known place' is clearly wrong. Thirdly, I have an allergy for sentences like 'the greatest of all time...' or 'the most important...'. If Bosch is considered to be a 'Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painter' (which is the case), then the claim that Bruegel is the most important painter is at least a subjective one and therefore not suitable for Wikipedia. I don't why this is getting so aggressive, with you first deleting my contributions and then Freshacconci reporting me for edit warring. C.Gesualdo (talk) 21:44, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Really, you think? Both have massive bibliographies (16 pages of small print in the case of Orenstein). I never said 'nearby Breda' (not grammatical by the way). If you think "not far from Breda" can be right and "near Breda" wrong, well.... You also need to understand that "Flemish" in English has a much wider meaning than in Dutch, and this is the English Wikipedia. I'll leave it to others to judge how to treat "I don't why this is getting so aggressive...", coming from an editor whose opening edit summary was "Are we going to have this tiresome discussion again? Please read the sources carefully or don't contribute at all. 'Bruegel' does fit a place, namely the town close to Eindhoven which is called Bruegel. Can it be more simple?", while removing a reference. Johnbod (talk) 22:00, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
The particular sentence by Van Mander has been reason for so much debate that Sellink dedicated an entire paragraph to it. Read it in: Bruegel; the complete paintings, drawings and prints. The idea that Van Mander confuses the Duchy of Brabant with the Prince-Bishopric of Liège is highly unlikely (dixit Sellink), so the fact that Grove apparently claims that 'three Flemish villages' are a candidate is false for more than one reason. If Van Mander is right - which is supported by evidence in the General Archives of the Sint-Goedele church in Brussels (see the research done by P. de Ridder: “Het testament van Everard Bruegel (+1530) klein kanunnik van Sint-Goedele te Brussel”), which shows that the few people who were called Bruegel in Brussels at that time were not only related, but all came from the northern part of the Duchy of Brabant - then it's safe to conclude that Bruegel came from the town of Bruegel in the northern part of Brabant. If Guicciardini is right then it's simply Breda. The whole story of a possible Bruegel in the Prince-Bishopric of Liège is absolutely nonsense, which is also the conclusion of the RKD: Lastly, we're not talking about Flanders in the modern sense, but even if we were: the northern part of the Duchy of Brabant has and had little to do with Flanders. But this is not the issue, the issue is that you're writing down that '[Bruegel] does not fit any known place', and this is absolutely not true.
And yes, my comment about your style of editing was very correct. You're deleting information without supplying proper sources and then you're deleting my contributions again without even engaging in a discussion. That is weird to say the least. But my main issue is with Freshacconci and Modernist who are constantly avoiding discussions and spreading nonsense.C.Gesualdo (talk) 22:15, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks both! C.Gesualdo now blocked so there will be quiet for a while. I'm happy to add to my note that Breugel still has fans as birthplace, if I can get a usable ref. At some point the Dutch/Flemish/Netherlandish/Brabanter thorn has to be grasped.... Johnbod (talk) 04:17, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
Hello, what exactly is wrong with the given arguments? I'm surprised to read that Bruegel 'does not fit any known place', since it contradicts Van Mander and is indeed not in accordance to what Sellink wrote. The same goes for Bruegel as the most important Renaissance painter. Is he more important than Hieronymus Bosch? UnicovW (talk) 18:01, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Why hello new editor with no history other than this talk page appearing out of nowhere to support a recently blocked editor. freshacconci talk to me 19:32, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Whence the hostility? I merely asked a question. And yes, I created this account to ask these questions. Is that problematic? As far as I can see, good points were raised supported by references, why are they being ignored? UnicovW (talk) 19:58, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
How was that hostile? I said hello. freshacconci talk to me 20:08, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
An article that I often read is changed and I noticed that some of the content is incorrect. The sentence ‘Bruegel does not fit any known place’ is remarkable because Bruegel obviously refers to the town in Brabant (regardless whether van Mander is correct or not). So it obviously does fit a place. That you insinuated that I had something to do with C.Gesualdo is rather hostile in my opinion (WP:GF). UnicovW (talk) 05:38, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
To just answer the questions: Van Mander was one or two generations younger than Bruegel, & his bio is treated with suspicion by all biographers. C.Gesualdo, unlike me, never produced sources in his edits to the article, though he tossed some around on talk. You'll see my comment on this above. Is he more important than Hieronymus Bosch? Certainly. More popular, maybe not. Johnbod (talk) 02:52, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
- I don't think Bruegel is a more important painter than Hieronymus Bosch. So unless you’re referring to something specific, the statement seems to me subjective and not very WP:NEUTRAL.
- With regard to the sources: I’m seeing references in the 'revision history' to the RKD (which states that Bruegel refers to the town in Brabant: and Sellink. Why is that not accepted? Sellink wrote the most recent monograph on Bruegel's work. The Grove on the other hand is a tertiary source and seems to be referring to Orenstein, which in turn refers to a rather old source from 1907 (see note 11 on page 11). Why are you not using Sellink and the RKD?
- Nobody knows where Bruegel was born. The only two primary sources are van Mander and Guicciardini. Who is right? We'll probably never know. But to say that Bruegel - i.e. the van Mander hypothesis - doesn't fit any known place is simply not true (regardless whether van Mander is right or not). UnicovW (talk) 05:38, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
You can enter the discussion when your block on your original account expires. I'm not bothering to file a sockpuppet report because you're really low-hanging fruit. It's so obvious and silly it's not worth the effort. freshacconci talk to me 14:45, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry but this is really ridiculous. What are you talking about? I'm 'low-hanging fruit' now? I have nothing to do with C.Gesualdo, how many times do I have to tell you? UnicovW (talk) 16:23, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I am just following Alexander Wied in Grove, as quoted above. Go argue with them. Incidentally, since you keep waving Sellink around, he was the 2nd editor & a major contributor to "Orenstein", only 7 years before his "complete" Bruegel book. The issue is not whether Bruegel villages exist, but whether they are plausibly described as near Breda, rather than, for example, near Eindhoven. Anyway, I've added more to the note. Actually, Silver, Larry, Pieter Bruegel, 2011, is "the most recent monograph". Johnbod (talk) 14:49, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
If van Mander writes: 'De Natuer heeft wonder wel haren Man ghevonden (...) doe sy in Brabant in een onbekent Dorp onder den Boeren', and you're seeing Bree as an option of what van Mander could mean (which is situated in the Prince-Bishopric of Liege) then it's obviously incorrect to say that Bruegel 'does not fit any known place' and to see Bree as a serious candidate. Concerning you're argument about Eindhoven: it is true that 'nearby Breda' isn't the same as 'niet wijt van Breda'. The latter is not only more relative, but also understandable, since there were no big cities between Bruegel and Breda at the time. This is also the conclusion of Sellink and the RKD:

according to Het Schilder-Boeck by Karel van Mander he was born 'op een Dorp, gheheeten Brueghel', 'niet wijt van Breda' and worked 'in Brabant in een onbekent Dorp onder den Boeren, om Boeren met den Pinceel nae te bootsen'; this combination of data shows that Brueghel as the village of birth is more likely to be identified with the current Son en Bruegel (at Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant) which was at the time situated in the Duchy of Brabant, than with the current Kleine-Brogel en Grote-Brogel near Bree (Belgisch Limburg), which was called Breda in Latin and was part of the Prince-Bishopric of Liege (see amongst others Sellink 2011)[1]

I don't understand why you're telling me that I have to argue with the Grove, we're having the discussion over here and you're using their information. Again, the Grove obviously uses the chapter that Orenstein wrote and she is - like I showed you - referring to outdated information. What's currently written in the Wikipedia article is simply not correct. Why is it so problematic to change that? UnicovW (talk) 16:23, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I have added the RKD to the note. All this nonsense disparaging of serious sources you don't agree with, while distorting those you do agree with, rude edit summaries, village patriotism etc is very tiresome. If this blatent sockpuppet edits again I will report it, which is likely to lead to a longer block for your real account. Johnbod (talk) 19:29, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
For the third time, I'm not C.Gesualdo. And to add to that: I'm also not from Bruegel, in fact not even from Brabant. Frankly, I couldn't care less where he was born. I personally think he was born in Antwerp. But we simply don't know it, especially because the two main primary sources are contradicting each other. Guicciardini claims Breda and van Mander says Bruegel. With regard to the last source - van Mander- it's simply erroneous to state that 'it does not fit any known place'. I've made it clear to you that your source is referring to outdated research and my sources are explicitly referring to the town of Bruegel in Brabant as the only possible candidate (not in the least van Mander himself). You have added the RKD to your note, but the content is not being used in the article. The POV sentence at the beginning of the article is unchanged as well. It therefore seems to me that this discussion is becoming useless and I think it's best to ask for a third party to intervene. UnicovW (talk) 22:37, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Wait, aren't you the third party? freshacconci talk to me 22:56, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
The people who think Breugel is a possible candidate are one party and the people who disagree with that are another one. And this is the last time I'm wasting energy to your accusations, Mr. PhD student in Art History who doesn't know which sources to use. What a joke. Good evening! UnicovW (talk) 23:30, 16 February 2017 (UTC)


Hello, all. This DRN case may be of interest. If you have civil comments to make, please do so there. Thank you. MereTechnicality 01:07, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

  • I've only just noticed these, C.Gesualdo's very first edits! "Deleting information" indeed. Johnbod (talk) 15:44, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

I don't want to get sucked into this debate - I am sure Johnbod has a much better familiarity with the sources than I do, and the tone of the two (one?) interlocutors above does not help one iota - but and I'll just say two things. Would it would be fair to say:

  1. we don't know for certain where Bruegel was born; there are some candidate places, but there are pros and cons for each. I think the footnotes deal with that adequately, but "does not fit any known place" is pretty strong. "is not entirely consistent with any of the candidates", perhaps? or "is hard to reconcile with any of the candidates"? I am sure there is a different form of words that would suit.
  2. do the sources explicitly say he was "the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting"? If so, fine. If not, he is clearly "one of the most significant" possibly even "one of the two/three/four most significant". Again, what do the sources say?

And that is me done. Theramin (talk) 01:52, 18 February 2017 (UTC)


For someone like Pieter Bruegel the Elder, cultural tradition/identity is more important than place of birth (Netherlands/Belgium)[edit]

He belongs to Northern Netherlandish tradition (I call it: 'Batavian' / 'pro-naturalism' / 'pro-Republican'), along with i.e. Bosch-Rembrandt-Van Gogh, rather than Southern Netherlandish tradition (I call it: 'Rubensian' / 'pro-Monarchy'). Until 1585, neither Dutch nor Flemish concept existed. Until so call Belgian Revolution, Flemish was never known as a nationality/ethnic group. Zingvin (talk, 21:11, 25 February 2017‎

That might be true in the Dutch language, but it is not true in English. Or at least Flemish was used for the Dutch-speaking people of the southern Netherlands, and Flanders for their country, though whether that amounted to "a nationality/ethnic group" is a moot point. Johnbod (talk) 04:26, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Opinions, opinions[edit]

Doesn't "was the most significant artist in Dutch-Flemish painting" sound like an opinion? Anyone agree with me? GermanGamer77 (talk) 19:05, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Generally speaking, articles on historical figures have a certain leeway when describing their notability as "significant" or some such wording, if there is historical and academic consensus. For example, William Shakespeare starts off with "William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist." Few would disagree with this assessment even though it is an opinion. There is room in the article body to present a dissenting view, although WP:UNDUE would apply. In other words, if academic consensus says Shakespeare is regarded as the greatest writer in English, any dissenting point of view would have to be significant, from a major scholar for example. It has been argued previously that Pieter Bruegel the Elder meets that threshold to be described as the most significant Dutch-Flemish Renaissance artist. The Reception history section goes into further detail and is decently sourced.
If you can make a solid case against this wording or for expanding the reception section with contemporary dissenting opinions feel free to bring it to this talk page. freshacconci (✉) 19:27, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, thanks. And what it ACTUALLY SAYS is "was the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting,..." so Rubens, Vermeer, Rembrandt & Van Gogh are not in the contest. So tell me this: if not Bruegel, then who????? Johnbod (talk) 20:32, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Birth place[edit]

Correctum86: The Early Life section of the article discusses the birth place, including citations to two biographers, including discussion (in footnote) of the possibility of Bree. The page you are citing is not a reliable source and does not cite the studies it mentions. (You state that no source stating Breda is certain, yet you are certain of the conclusion of a promotional town web site.) You may be correct about Bree, but you need to find sources that discuss the recent studies directly and more specifically. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 17:12, 10 October 2017 (UTC).

Laszlo Panaflex: Laszlo, I'm not certain about Bree. But nobody can be certain about Breda neither. Why would 1 (doubtful) story be promoted, while the other is barely discussed? Both sources, the Italian man living in Antwerp and van Mander can be cited to support the Bree-version. There is no evidence for nowadays Breda. You must be fair here. It's not because Breda was mentioned on an earlier version of this site, that it has more value than the Bree version of Breughels early life. Correctum86(talk)

There are at least sources for "near Breda". Perhaps the discussion re Bree should be expanded, but again, it would require better sources than the Town of Peer site. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 14:01, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
The text does not give anywhere as "certain", and reflects the good recent sources used, without settling for any version. Correctum86, your edits here and elsewhere are unreferenced, or referenced to non-RS, in poor English, and often way off the mark, as in saying "Pieter Breughel the elder was one of the most appreciated representatives of the Flemish Baroque painting.", which is wrong in so many different ways. Johnbod (talk) 14:33, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

Johnbod: I agree my English isn't of the best quality, but I'm trying. On topic now: indeed, there are references to Breda, but it's very simple: Breda was the Latin name of Bree. Latin was in that time still the 'lingua franca', certainly in the Catholic parts of Europe. There is more prove than the promotion site of the town of Peer (including the township Grote Brogel, "not far from Breda", where Breugel is believed to be born). Just look at the site of the Breughel foundation, to which I referred earlier but was removed by you. It's not because I'm not a specialist in art, that I'm not well aware of history and heritage. Correctum86(talk)

A few notes. First of all, the Bree/Grote-Brogel thesis is based upon research dating from the beginning of the 20th century by René van Bastelaer, who - as a Belgian - had nationalistic motives to present Pieter Bruegel as being Flemish. This matter is already disputed with the argument that Bree/Grote-Brogel were situated in the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, whilst Van Mander specifically wrote that Pieter Bruegel came from the Duchy of Brabant. Secondly, there are in fact more than two sources. Besides Van Mander and Guicciardini, a third source are town archives of the cities in the Duchy of Brabant. That research shows that the majority of the people with the name of Bruegel in Brussels came from the town of Bruegel in the Duchy of Brabant.
What I don't understand about the article, is why it's referring to the Grove Art Online (which is indirectly referring to René van Bastelaer) and not to the secondary sources themselves. And why isn't the town of Bruegel in the Duchy of Brabant mentioned? Certainly if you consider that Van Mander is specifically mentioning this in his article on Pieter Bruegel. Wim Kostrowicki (talk) 04:44, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
One more note. It is in fact because of a lack of nationalism of Belgians that many famous things, cultural elements, and people have been "stolen or inherited" by surrounding "nations", mostly the (Northern) Netherlands, but also England, France and Germany. Besides during the Roman empire - and some of the earliest settlings in the New World (New York for example) - the name "Belgica" was only used again in 1830. Many craftsman, investors, bankers, industrials, scholared workers and indeed artists and painters flew from 16th century Flanders and Brabant and started or continued their successfull business elsewhere. Thereby starting the rise of the Dutch Golden Age and the financial centres of London and Frankfurt. Estimations are that about half the population flew (and not the poorest part...) North in fear for the atrocious Spanish catholic repression. Correctum86

Wim Kostrowicki:Now back on topic: why should it be mentioned in the top section with "place of birth" "Breda ('nowadays the Netherlands')? This last part is not necessary, and nationalistic feelings are very obvious. Just look at other pages about similar painters if you want to see some nationalism in action... The village Bruegel in Duchy of Brabant was about 40 kilometers away from Breda. Going down that route should certainly rule Breda completely out as potential place of birth... Van Bastelaer can never have said Bruegel was Flemish. Flanders was West of the Scheldt river. Bruegel always stayed East in Antwerp and Brussels. Both Van Mander and Guicciardini's writings seem to be in favour of the Bree option. Correctum86

First of all, Van Mander wrote: 'a city in the Duchy of Brabant'. Bree was situated in the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, so I don't think Van Mander was 'in favor of' Bree at all. He was simply vague about 'not far from' (which could mean anything). Secondly, Van Mander and Guicciardini both wrote in the vernacular, so why would they all of a sudden use Latin names to refer to cities? That doesn't make any sense if their work consistently refers to cities in their own language. Lastly, it's not our job to do (original) research (see: WP:OR), it's our job to refer to original research. In that light, I don't understand why essential sources have been left out and why the article instead is referring to sources dating from the beginning of the 20th century. Wouldn't it be better to use more recent scholarly work?
N.B. a correction: I never said Van Bastelaer called Bruegel Flemish, I only said nationalistic sentiments played a role when Van Bastelaer wrote about Bree/Grote-Brogel as a possible birthplace of Pieter Bruegel. Wim Kostrowicki (talk) 23:22, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

William Carlos Williams has many poems about Brueghel[edit]

The article just mentions one poem by Williams, but Williams wrote Pictures from Brueghel containing many poems about Brueghel. I don't know how relevant you might consider this or how you might integrate it into the article, but it seems to deserve at least as much space as Auden. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:24, 1 November 2017 (UTC)