PIETER BRUEGHEL,Vintage Art Masterpieces,Vintage Prints for Sale Hunters in the Snow by PIETER BRUEGHEL {Flemish School}

Hunters in the Snow by PIETER BRUEGHEL {Flemish School}

Hunters in the Snow

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IN ALL his paintings, Brueghel was a contemporary observer of life. The last
phases of the medieval tradition, with its minute horrors and episodic tortures,
undoubtedly affected his early engravings, but from the time of his first paint­
ings, he was an artist of independent vision.

He knew how to set figures in
motion, to emphasize the telling details of his characters without impairing
their largeness and bulk; and to bring into view crowds, even multitudes, with
no damage to unity of masses.


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As he grew older, he began to contemplate the
world in wider perspective, to withdraw from the intimacies of persecutions
and peasant orgies into a larger, more imaginative statement of his individu­
ality. In his last years, he painted a series of landscapes which, all things con­
sidered, are the most comprehensive expression of his memorable genius.

It hardly seems possible that Brueghel, with no antecedent suggestions,
could have taken landscape, hitherto a decorative adjunct to figure painting,
and, at one stroke, have made it an art in its own right.

His work in this field,
in construction, depth, and the relation of the natural background to the occu­
pation of man, is equaled only by the cosmic, autumnal scenes of Rubens. He
could not conceive of landscape except in human terms, and his renderings
of it, broadly speaking, are harmonious adjustments of nature to the moods
and activities of man.

Brueghel projected a series of twelve landscapes to be called the Months,
only five of which were completed.

All have descriptive titles-Dark Day,
January; , February; Haymaking, June; The Harvesters,
August; Return of th~ Herds, November-and all are built on the same plan,
a long diagonal outlining of high foreground from which the spectator looks
back into vast distances.

is the most remarkable of the
group. Here is winter with its stillness, its austerity, and its frozen expanses,
but presented in relation to the snug houses, and the labors and sports of man.
This landscape is a beautiful example of

Brueghel’s method of constructing
pictures in a series of recessive planes; and in its use of snow as a background
for figures and natural forms revealed sharply as silhouettes, it is unrivaled
in Western painting. It has been rightly said that the hunting scene “opens up
a new and wonderful chapter in the history of art.”


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