Pieter Brueghel, the Elder (Pieter Brueghel)

Pieter Brueghel, the Elder

Artist. South-Netherlandish painter and father of Jan Bruegel. His contemporaries dubbed him ‘Boeren-Bruegel’ (Farmers-Bruegel) for his skillful sketches of country-life, a nickname that does not do justice to either his work nor his talent. He was an apprentice of Pieter Coecke van Aelst, whose daughter Mayken he later married. He spent some time in France and Italy, and then went to Antwerp, where in 1551 he was accepted as a master in the painter’s guild. In addition to the famed Wedding and Kermis paintings, Pieter creates landscapes, devout works and impressions of Hell in a confident and expressive style with great flair for composition and space. Much of his work is clearly inspired by Jeroen Bosch.  His religious work is the most unusual, the landscape and figures in many of his works are Flemish, not Middle Eastern. In 1552-1553 he traveled to Italy, where he was introduced to the works of  Michelangelo and other artist of the time period. By 1558, Pieter began painting more than drawing or carving, such as in his paintings, Conversion of Paul and The Sermon of St. John the Baptist. In the 1560s, Pieter began painting the ordinary life of peasants, he enjoyed painting events, such as in The Peasant Wedding and The Fight Between Carnival and Lent. In 1565, a wealthy patron in Antwerp, Niclaes Jonghelinck commissioned him to paint a series of paintings of each month of the year. Today, only five of these paintings survive and some of the months are paired to form a general season. Two of his most famous paintings from his calendar series are  The Hunters in the Snow (December–January) and The Harvesters (August). Pieter had  two sons and a daughter: Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder and the daughter Marie. Their grandmother, Mayken Verhulst, trained the sons because “the Elder” died when both were very small children.  Pieter settled in Brussels, where he died in 1569. His wife Mayken would die later in 1578. (bio by: Shock)


  • January, 01, 1970
  • Netherlands


  • September, 09, 1569
  • Belgium


  • Church of Notre Dame de la Chapelle
  • Belgium

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