(b c.1525 Breda, Netherlands; d Brussels, Flanders 1569) Dutch painter and engraver, Pieter Bruegel the Elder was one of the most important artists of the Northern Renaissance. Working in the mid-sixteenth century, Bruegel was best known for his genre paintings of Flemish peasant life and landscapes. Though he was known to have traveled in Italy, Bruegel painted in a simpler manner than the idealized style of the Italian Renaissance. He was more concerned with the shape of a figure than with specific details and he reduced most of his figures to flat pattern-like shapes so that their overall form became important. One of his most revered masterpieces, The Peasant Wedding, demonstrates his ability to capture the realities of peasant life in a pleasing and expressive style that gives the scene universal appeal. Bruegel’s two sons, Pieter the Younger and Jan the Elder, also went on to become artists although Pieter Bruegel the Elder is generally considered the most important artist of the family.
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