Pieter Bruegel and the First Modern Landscape (1565)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Harvesters – 1565 On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 642

Who Was Pieter Bruegel the Elder?

The most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525 – 1569) was a painter and printmaker from Brabant. He is known for making landscapes and peasant scenes the focus of large paintings, reflecting the new humanism of the 16th Century.

The First Modern Landscape

The Metropolitan Museum of Art calls this painting a “watershed in the history of Western art”[1] and the “first modern landscape”.[6]. Because of the new humanist lens through which Pieter Bruegel the Elder viewed his world, landscape painting was no longer limited to backgrounds for mythological or religious illustrations.

Working in the aftermath of the Reformation, Bruegel was able to separate his landscapes from long-standing iconographic tradition, and achieve a contemporary and palpable vision of the natural world.”

J.Wisse 2002

My Personal Favorite: ArtSleuth

A Masterpiece Is Born

Highlighted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s narrative genius in observing and recording human nature in all its glory, “The Harvesters” gives us a dual glimpse into Bruegel’s world of the 16th Century and our own world today; thus, a masterwork is born.

Click to view larger image:

Best viewed At Sunnyside

Read More At Sunnyside

Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Harvesters (1565)


  • Title: The Harvesters
  • Creator: Pieter Bruegel the Elder
  • Date Created: 1565
  • Physical Dimensions: w1619 x h1191 mm
  • Type: Paintings
  • External Link: MMA
  • Medium: Oil on wood
  • Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): BRVEGEL / [MD]LXV [now largely illegible]
  • Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1919
  • Artist: Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlandish, Breda (?) ca. 1525–1569 Brussels)


  1. Wisse, Jacob. “Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1525–1569).” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/brue/hd_brue.htm (October 2002) (Web. Ap. 29, 2018).
  2. Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Harvesters, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/435809 (Web. Ap 29, 2018).
  3. MacDonald, Deanna, Great Works of Western Art, “Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Harvesters“, http://www.worldsbestpaintings.net/artistsandpaintings/painting/8/, (accessed October 16, 2018).
  4. The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: a family guide from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries (fully available online as PDF) (accessed October 15, 2018).
  5. Google Arts and Culture, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, https://artsandculture.google.com/entity/m0h6nl. (Web. Ap. 29, 2018).
  6. Wikipedia contributors, “Pieter Bruegel the Elder,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder&oldid=864003045 (accessed October 15, 2018).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, “The Harvesters (painting),” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Harvesters_(painting)&oldid=843924631 (accessed October 15, 2018).

Thanks for Reading! 😉


5 Comments Add yours

  1. zettl.fr says:

    You are doing a really great job! Thanks for all the details too! In addition, you always deal with my favorite painters 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, zettl.fr. I appreciate your kind words. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  2. A masterpiece! So much detail in the vast landscape.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for visiting, Rosaliene! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  3. This is such a fine post. Everything is analyzed in a wealth of details. Thank you for this fine post.

    Liked by 2 people

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