Bruegel’s Complete Paintings
An in-depth exploration of Bruegel’s painted work
The life and times of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1526/30–1569) were marked by stark cultural conflict. He witnessed religious wars, the Duke of Alba’s brutal rule as governor of the Netherlands, and the palpable effects of the Inquisition. To this day, the Flemish artist remains shrouded in mystery. We know neither where nor exactly when he was born. But while early scholarship emphasized the vernacular character of his painting and graphic work, modern research has attached greater importance to its humanistic content.
Starting out as a print designer for publisher Hieronymus Cock, Bruegel produced numerous print series that were distributed throughout Europe. These depicted vices and virtues alongside jolly peasant festivals and sweeping landscape panoramas. He then increasingly turned to painting, working for the cultural elite of Antwerp and Brussels. Rather than idealizing reality, he bravely confronted the issues of his day, addressing the horrors of religious warfare and taking a critical stand against the institution of the Church. To this end, Bruegel developed his own pictorial language of dissidence, lacing innocuous everyday scenes with subliminal statements in order to escape repercussions.
This book is derived from our XXL monograph, which saw TASCHEN undertake a comprehensive photographic survey of the artist’s oeuvre. The result boasts exceptional details and reproductions, unveiling Bruegel’s larger-than-life universe with unprecedented clarity.
“Like Shakespeare, Bruegel can capture the theatre of life in scenes that are comic yet full of acute psychological portraits.”
— The Guardian
About the series
TASCHEN turns 40 this year! Since we started our work as cultural archaeologists in 1980, TASCHEN has become synonymous with accessible publishing, helping bookworms around the world curate their own library of art, anthropology, and aphrodisia at an unbeatable price. In 2020, we celebrate 40 years of incredible books by staying true to our company credo. The 40 series presents new editions of some of the stars of our program—now more compact, friendly in price, and still realized with the same commitment to impeccable production.
All the books in the 40 series have:
• Thick cardboard hardcover WITHOUT jacket
• Highly resistant glossy lamination
• Square spine
• Prolongued printed back end that surrounds the book block and folds in behind the cover, protecting the pages (you can fold it behind the last page when you look at or in the book or use it as a bookmark)
• NO shrink-wrap
|Dimensions||cm 15,6 x 21,7|