Bringing Bruegel Back to the Albertina

The Flemish master is shown to be a meticulous draughtsman

Combining exceptional craftsmanship with a keen eye and attention to detail, the prolific Renaissance master Pieter Bruegel the Elder created exquisite landscapes, bucolic peasant scenes and bitter satirical tableaux with equal verve.

A profound observer of the tragedies and fortunes of his lifetime, Bruegel brilliantly dissected humanity in both paintings and drawings. His open compositions eschew conventional arrangements of masses and contours, instead forming a chaotic reflection of various life situations. His darker works combine the macabre and the mundane, decon- structing metaphors and criticizing the social mores of his era. Often compared with his predecessor Hieronymus Bosch, Bruegel’s work embodies a lively, whimsical and at times gloomy spirit, proving highly in uential for later artists like Goya and the surrealists.

Better known for large-scale oil paintings, Bruegel’s drawings display a more spontaneous, vivid realism, often exaggerated to the point of parody. With a selection of over 80 works, this exhibition presents the full spectrum of Bruegel’s illustrated legacy, including a complete collection of his prints and several recently discovered and painstakingly restored specimens. Astute and scathing, the Flemish master’s visual wit resonates through his remarkable pen strokes.

Through Dec 3, Albertina, 1., Albertinaplatz 1,

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