PIETER BRUEGHEL,Vintage Art Masterpieces,Vintage Prints for Sale The Wedding Dance by PIETER BRUEGHEL {Flemish School}

The Wedding Dance by PIETER BRUEGHEL {Flemish School}



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IN THE sixteenth century, the Flemish painters went down into Italy and
acquired just enough of the heroic style to ruin the native tradition that the
Van Eycks and their followers had so patiently erected.

Unable to assimilate
Renaissance culture, or to fathom the principles of mural design, they loaded
their own honest realism with theatrical

profusion and imitation splendor­
the mixture being the more unsightly

because of its mechanical competency and
glassy smoothness-and charmed the florid tastes of the Antwerp burgesses.


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In the thick of this foolish Italianism,

the Elder appeared.

It is one of the enigmas of art that Brueghel should have remained in dark
neglect for more than three centuries.

When he was mentioned at all, he was
curtly dismissed as Pieter the Droll, or Peasant Brueghel, a Rabelaisian buf­
foon with a malodorous interest in diableries

and the animalistic pastimes of
the boorish rabble; a successor of Bosch, the bogey-artist who persisted in the
grotesque ideology of the Middle Ages.

Brueghel possessed most of the essentials of the great artist. His concern
with life was broad and anthropological:

he was interested in people, the whole
business of living, from the intimate habits of peasants to the industrial and
spiritual dilemmas of his beloved Antwerp.

Many of his pictures are alive
with figures-crowds, processions, and cataracts of men and women; like
Giotto and Daumier, he delved into the

homely stuff around him and converted
it into dramatic art.

In his first period, his favorite subjects were the orgiastic
relaxations of peasant life, carousing

speclacles he had experienced and en­
joyed, and which he painted with

deliberation from sketches. His figures were
not thrown together in the haphazard fashion of the illustrator,

but conceived
as parts of an elaborate design of black and white masses enlivened with color.
Paintings such as ,

with its large, reeling forms and solidly
constructed bodies, have had a pronounced influence on

American genre paint­
ing of the present time. But the picture, despite its subject, has little joviality.
It was painted at a tragic moment in history,

when the Flemish peasants, with
bestial grimness and outgushings of coarse

vitality, sought collective release
from the Spanish butchery of the Low Countries.


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