Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Harvesters (1565)

The First Modern Landscape The Harvesters, painted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1565, represents “a watershed in the history of western art” at at time when “the religious pretext for landscape painting has been suppressed in favor of a new humanism, and the unidealized description of the local scene is based on natural observations.”…

Pieter Bruegel and the First Modern Landscape (1565)

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.