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Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Humor and Humanism

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Friday, August 11, 2023 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0388
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Materials for this program

The Harvesters (detail) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1565

The great 16th-century Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder may be best remembered as one of the pioneers of genre scenes in Renaissance art. However, this master of the ordinary, especially of scenes inspired by peasant life, was steeped in the humanist culture of his era. His wonderful inventiveness and wit are reflected throughout his oeuvre—where almost every painting becomes a point of departure for a deeper philosophical consideration.

Art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine of the University of Maryland, College Park, explores various facets of his creativity that have secured this artist such a special place in our collective memory. She examines how Bruegel shaped his artistic persona, both as an heir of Hieronymus Bosch’s fantastic imagination and as a painter of the most ordinary of subjects. She also makes connections between Bruegel and some of the most important humanists of Antwerp, including the cartographer Abraham Ortelius and the publisher Christopher Plantin, and how these relationships find reflections in some of his more “learned” works.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

General Information

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.