the Elder

1525 - 1569


Peasants, Fools and Demons


Renaissance Art Map
Pieter Bruegel the Elder  Peasants, Fools and Demons
    A Brief Life in Dangerous Times
    Antwerp: a Booming City
    The Holy Family in the Snow
    Exploring the World
    Demons in Our Midst
    Village Life
    Nature as Man's Environment
    Not only Peasants
    Pieter the Droll?
    Life and Work






Village Life




A fool is also strolling through the centre of the painting The Fight between Carnival and Lent (1559), illuminating the way of an adult couple with his burning torch, although it is daylight - an indication of the "topsy-turvy" state of the world, topsy-turvy perhaps because Catholics, depicted as skinny Lent, and Protestants, suspected of being pleasure-hungry gluttons, are vigorously feuding with each other. Bruegel has surrounded them with a wealth of traditional scenes: children at play, cripples begging, fish-sellers, churchgoers with their stools, people dressed up for processions.



The Fight between Carnival and Lent

The fat Lord of the Carnival astride the barrel is intended to represent the Protestants, the melancholy, lean figure with a beehive on his head the Catholics. Bruegel is caricaturing both equally harshly. In the middle of the picture, we again see a fool leading two people; he has lit his torch, even though it is still day -symptomatic of the topsy-turvy world.




The Fight between Carnival and Lent (detail)



The Fight between Carnival and Lent (detail)




The Fight between Carnival and Lent (detail)


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