To mark the 450th anniversary of the death of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna is showing the world's first major monographic exhibition on the work of this exceptional artist.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder was a much sought-after artists even during his lifetime, which is why his works achieved unusually high prices at the time. On the occasion of the 450th anniversary of his death, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna dedicates a special exhibition to the most important Dutch painter of the 16th century. It is the world's first major monographic show on his work. Only just over forty paintings and sixty prints by the master remain in existence today. With 12 panel paintings, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna owns the world's biggest collection of Bruegel paintings. That is also mostly because the Habsburgs prized the quality and originality of Bruegel's imagery as early as the 16th century and went to the effort of acquiring famous, prestigious works by the artist.
With around 90 of his works, the exhibition in Vienna is the first to present an overview of the complete oeuvre of Pieter Bruegel the Elder: With almost 30 paintings (three quarters of the preserved painted œuvre) and half of the preserved drawings and prints, the show offers an opportunity of the century to dive into the artist's complex pictorial world, to comprehend his stylistic development and creative process, as well as to get to know his working methods, his pictorial wit and his unique narrative talent. Among the highlights to be seen in the exhibition are, for example, the Triumph of Death from the Prado in Madrid and the Tower of Babel from the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam. To date, the vast majority of the fragile wooden panels have never been loaned for exhibition purposes.
The work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, who revolutionized landscape and genre painting, still evokes diverse and controversial interpretations. The richness of his imagery and his astute talent for observing people still exert a special fascination on viewers today. The exhibition focuses on the beginnings of Bruegel's careers as a drawer and graphic artist as well as on his innovations in the field of landscape painting. Another section of the show is given over to his religious works, with a wealth of masterpieces such as a "The Triumph of Death" and "Dulle Griet", which has been specially restored for the exhibition.
Bruegel, October 2, 2018 to January 13, 20192019