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Peasants and Proverbs

Pieter Brueghel the Younger as Moralist and Entrepreneur

The reappraisal of an artist who never managed to escape the shadow of his famous father—until now.

Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564–1638) was a Belgian artist who, despite enjoying great success, was forever eclipsed by his renowned father, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525–69). During his career, Brueghel the Younger’s prodigious output and business acumen popularized the distinctive depiction of Netherlandish peasant life historians recognize today, yet he was constantly deemed a second-rate, derivative painter.

Peasants and Proverbs rewrites this narrative by focusing on recent research into Brueghel the Younger’s Two Peasants Binding Firewood. These collected writings highlight the emerging understanding of this under-sung artist and savvy entrepreneur who operated his studio to produce and reproduce paintings, and the extent to which his enterprise was motivated by trends in the contemporary art market.


84 pages | 65 color plates | 8 1/4 x 8 1/4

Art: European Art


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