CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

The printed world of Bruegel the Elder

Exhibition: 5 December 1999 - 13 February 2000

From the museum website, 12 November 2008

Primarily recognized as a painter, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1527/28 – 1569) was also an influential and prolific designer for the leading print publishers of Antwerp. Many of his works were transferred into prints by famous printmakers during his lifetime and for many years afterward. The Printed World of Bruegel the Elder provides a rare opportunity to view the rich and varied imagery of one of the most celebrated artists of the 16th century as interpreted by artist of his day. Comprising 65 etchings and engravings from a private collection, the exhibition is on view through February 6 [sic], 2000.

Bruegel’s gift for observation combined with his abundant imagination are reflected in prints based on his celebrated Alpine landscapes, as well as his seascapes, depictions of peasants, allegories, satires, and relevant interpretations of the Biblical Scriptures. With the exception of The Rabbit Hunt (1560), thought to be the only print Bruegel ever etched with his own hand, all of the works in the exhibition were executed by printmakers after Bruegel’s drawings and paintings. Hieronymus Cock of Aux Quatre Vents, one of the most famous printing houses in Europe, collaborated with Bruegel and employed professional engravers and etchers, including Pieter van der Heyden, the brothers Jan and Lucas van Duetecum, Frans Huys, and Philips Galle to reproduce Bruegel’s drawings.

The exhibition is organized by The Saint Louis Art Museum. The national tour is organized by the American Federation of Arts. Support has been provided by David J. and Linda Pohs Supino. In conjunction with the exhibition, The Saint Louis Art Museum has published a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Barbara Butts and Joseph Leo Koerner, professor in the Department of Fine Arts at Harvard University.


The printed world of Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Barbara Butts and Joseph Leo Koerner
Catalogue of an exhibition held in 2000 in Memphis (Brooks Museum of Art) and Charlottesville (University of Virginia Art Museum)
112 pp., paperbound
St. Louis (Saint Louis Art Museum) 1995
ISBN-10: 0-89178042-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-89178042-7

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