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This title investigates the artist's depictions of folkloric themes and the visual structures that the artist used to maximize effective communication between painter and viewer. Arguing that Bruegel's depictions of popular fables address issues of social transformation and conflict, Ethan Matt Kavaler demonstrates that they affirm the ideal of a stable, hierarchical society, an ethos opposed to a culture increasingly oriented toward business. The author draws a detailed picture of the evolving world in which Bruegel worked using a wide assortment of images and writings, including legal handbooks, popular theater, costume books, personal correspondence, emblem books, and alba amicorum. Also examined is the role of Antwerp as a center for the arts and home to an intellectual and commercial elite, who, ironically, were the owners of Bruegel's pictures of peasants.Read more
- Kavaler explains how the structure of sixteenth century painting mirrored the social hierarchy of the day
- Strong general subject area - Bruegel and Dutch art
- Well illustrated with nearly 150 half-tones
Reviews & endorsements
' … every reader, however well-acquainted with this period and this culture, will at some point be caught by an unexpected, quirky reference, and find himself turning to Kavaler's bibliography saying 'goodness, I didn't know that at all'!' Elizabeth Alice Honig, Burlington Magazine
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- Date Published: August 1999
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521622677
- length: 416 pages
- dimensions: 263 x 185 x 32 mm
- weight: 1.255kg
- contains: 139 b/w illus.
- availability: Unavailable - out of print July 2003
Table of Contents
1. Commerce, culture, crisis
2. The Fall of Icarus and the natural order
3. Everyman and his interest
4. The city and the cycle of nature: the battle between Carnival and Lent
5. Custom, costume, and community: celebrating a marriage
6. Invitation to the dance: the Peasant Kermis
7. Conflict in the natural world.
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