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A major monograph on the artist widely regarded as the 16th century's greatest Netherlandish painter, published to mark the anniversary of his death 450 years ago

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Pieter Bruegel the Elder and his work have attained a legendary status in our collective consciousness. The most important Netherlandish painter and draughtsman of the 16th century had already achieved great fame during his own lifetime, but was largely forgotten until his rediscovery by art historians in the early 20th century. Just over forty paintings by Bruegel’s own hand survive. His complex, multi-layered compositions, which draw on the earlier pictorial traditions of Hieronymus Bosch, are often moralizing, and teem with characters. The variety of subjects and their originality of execution inspire wonder to this day.

Published to accompany the major exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, this spectacular catalogue allows readers to immerse themselves in the immensely rich pictorial world of the Netherlandish master. In uniting the artist’s works in different media – paintings, drawings and prints – it highlights his perfect handling and execution, his virtuoso use of colour and his draughtsmanship. The book is complemented by an e-book featuring five further essays by the curators, who present the fruits of recent research on the artist’s materials and techniques.

Bruegel’s inventions and stories create artworks with a timeless power, and this volume, presenting a full survey of the artist’s entire oeuvre, will be an indispensable resource for Bruegel fans and scholars alike.

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'As interesting to the layman as to the expert. Layer after layer, works are analysed, explored and decoded'
The Times

'For those who can’t get to Vienna to view this wondrous gathering of paintings, drawings and engravings by art’s great original'

'The formidable catalogue is a more approachable - certainly more convenient - way of appreciating the myriad detail of Bruegel's paintings'
The Jackdaw

'Richly illustrated'
World of Interiors

'Lavishly illustrated … informative and readable. Contributors wear their knowledge lightly, even as they update you on the latest research'
The Times, Art Books of the Year

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (with jacket)

Size: 28.0 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 304 pp

Publication date: 11 October 2018

ISBN: 9780500239841

Contents List

Foreword by Geert Bourgeois • Preface by Sabine Haag • Introduction to the exhibition by Elke Oberthaler, Sabine Pénot, Manfred Sellink and Ron Spronk, with Alice Hoppe-Harnoncourt • Short Biography of Pieter Bruegel the Elder • Cat. nos. 1 to 87 • Separate E-book featuring five essays

About the Author

Manfred Sellink is the director of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, and is the author of Bruegel: The Complete Paintings, Drawings and Prints.

Ron Spronk is Professor of Art History at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. In addition to his professorship at Queen’s, Spronk also holds the Jheronimus Bosch Chair at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Sabine Pénot is Curator of Netherlandish and Dutch Paintings, Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM) at Vienna, Austria.

Elke Oberthaler is Head of Painting Conservation at Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM) at Vienna, Austria.

List of Contributors

Alice Hoppe-Harnoncourt, Sabine Haag

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