Peasant and Nestrobber: Bruegel as Witness of His Times in 16th-Century Antwerp and Brussels

In ‘Peasant and Nestrobber’, Bruegel was engaged with the troubles of his time. Abstract Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Peasant and Nestrobber (1568) remains one of his most challenging paintings. By the time of its creation Bruegel had already innovated by treating ordinary people as subjects suitable for the attention of a serious painter. In this[…]

Fishing for Souls: Water Technology and the Dutch Baroque

Examining how issues of representation and aesthetics impacted the environmental history of early modern Europe. Early modern interaction with water, be it through coastal flooding, stranded sea-life, or trial by ordeal, was one of the totemic means of decoding and countering divine power. Water was woven into the fabric of cultural life: it was an active[…]