Pieter Brueghel “The Harvesters”





Pieter Brueghel “The Harvesters

The Harvesters is one of the six remaining works of Dutch born painter Pieter Brueghel. The maestro born in 1525 was one of the Dutch Renaissance painters and print maker. Accredited for his peasant and landscape depictions, the artist was nicknamed the Peasant Brueghel. In the year 1559, Brueghel changed his name to Bruegel, dropping the letter ‘h’ for unknown reasons. The Harvesters painting was a landscape scenery that the artist created while in Antwerp in the year 1565. As in many of his creations, the emphasis is on peasants who are seen working in the cereal farms. The maestro’s vision is orchestrated perfectly in the painting that both concepts of consumption and production co-exist. The Harvesters painting is vital in the renaissance period because it suppresses the common political, religious and iconographic approaches to at during the era.

The painting revolves around the reliance of man with the geography. The painting anchors the observer on the field of cereal filled with exhausted peasants. The workers appear beautifully clustered around a pear tree enjoying its shade. The shade of brown seen in the field suggests the end of summer around September (Raditsa and Warren 21). The workers in the farm apart from those resting are harvesting and piling the cereals. Those resting under the tree appear to be in a picnic form of relaxation. As men cult the stalk of the harvest using scythes, others gather them into bundles (Majeski 1). Women on the side gather the bundles and stack them on their shoulders for light movement. The panoramic view across the painting shows that the maestro’s intent was to show the rich wealth of the landscape as emphasized by the agro-economic activity.

The shade of color in the painting employed by Brueghel shows the seasonal transformation of the landscape. The Harvesters painting is one of the six painting s of the maestro that revolved around the divergent seasons of the year (Katzman 1). The brown shade is part of the artist criticism that was given at the time since it stayed away from the common artistic approaches. The I6th century renaissance was more prone to utilize shades of maroon, gold and bronze in their artistic creations (Kuiper 98). The brown shade with its sweeping vistas places the observer at a fix with the image as more time is used to understand the construct unlike the other popular creations of the time. The added time in comprehending the creation is part of the fun.

The harvesters’ painting is more than just a simple painting. Several aesthetic and symbolic attributes of the creation give it added significance to painting of the same time. For instance, the break away from the common renaissance approach to art places the maestro and his creations at a different position from the rest. Through his art, Brueghel offers more insight on the 16th century society. The peasants depict the hard life entailed in agro-economic activities. The painting was one of the first artistic creations that showed the relationship between man and the land during the art era. This approach inhabits a charged position of superiority that is presented proportionally in the price of the painting. The aesthetic pleasure that the observer familiarizes with is functioned by the good depiction of the countryside that surrounds a big Metropolis as seen from a distance.



Works Cited

Katzman, Jonathan. The Harvesters by Pieter Brueghel. CompResearch1102. 1 March 2011. Web. 30 March 2015. <https://compresearch1102.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/the-harvesters-by-pieter-bruegel-the-elder/>

Kuiper, Kathleen. Painters of the Renaissance. 2013. Print.

Majeski, Anna. Brueghel’s The Harvesters. Art for Breakfast. 24 January 2013. Web. 30 March 2015. <http://artforbreakfast.org/2013/01/24/bruegels-the-harvesters/>

Raditsa, Bosiljka, and Alexandra Bonfante-Warren. The Art of Renaissance Europe: A Resource for Educators. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. Print.


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