Showing posts with the label Netherlands history

Art: The Peasant Dance by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Peasant Dance by Pieter Bruegel the Elder is a depiction of the peasant life in the late 1500’s. He was particularly interested in how they lived, dated, married, ate, dressed and relaxed. It was a life that fascinated him but also was part of his very core existence. To Bruegel it was a simple life that focused on the day’s happenings and seemed a natural existence connected to nature.  The scene is lively and the painter is well known for his humanist pictures. The people within the painting are larger than life which appears to embolden their lives. Bruegel seems to be trying to make distance from himself and his peasant background by painting the figures oafish by nature.   He moved his way up the social ladder and continued to be fascinated by the way the peasants lived due to his deep connection with them.  The painting shows a Madonna on the tree that appears to be ignored as the peasants engage in their fun. The life of the present, now, and materialism has ma

The Potato Eaters by Vincent van Gogh

The Potato Eaters-1885 The Potato Eaters presents five figures of which three are females and two are males. One of which appears to be younger than the others and standing before her family. The meal is simple consisting of baked potatoes without any type of dressing. Spices were expensive and imported from other areas.  This meal was a regular staple for people who did not have the access to the refrigerated varieties we have today. The other woman is serving coffee for the group through cheap cups and a pot. You can see the conversation within the picture as the family discusses their daily happenings. One might be talking about the hens and the other about the saving of seeds. Their lives consumed them and filled up their conversational needs. It was all about survival. The colors are dark which gives the painting a dark and dirty look. On the ceiling is a single hanging lamp that brightens the families faces. Even though each female is wearing drab clothing and a b

Death and the Miser by Hieronymus Bosch

Death and the Miser- 1490 The painting Death and the Miser by Hieronymus Bosch, around the year of 1490, was designed to help people remember that death is inevitable despite the power of wealth. As you can see in the picture a man on his death bed is reaching for a bag of gold. Around the room are various creatures of death that lurk and tempt the man. There appears to be stages in life depicted within the picture. In the front of the picture are weapons and armor, followed by older age with wealth and finally ending in death. The picture is hosted in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Hieronymus Bosch lived most of his life around the Duchy of Brabant (Netherlands). He is one of five children of which both his father and four siblings were painters. He married Aleyt Goyaerts van den Meerveen who was from a wealthy family and they lived in her inherited home. Artistic scholars view his paintings as a result of ultra orthodox beliefs of his location and time that mixed