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216 × 138 mm
288 pages
65 illustrations, 60 in colour
01 Apr 2019
  • £15.95

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Pieter Bruegel and the Idea of Human Nature Elizabeth Alice Honig

In sixteenth-century northern Europe, during a time of increasing religious and political conflict, the Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel explored how people perceived human nature. Bruegel turned his critical eye to mankind’s labours and pleasures, its foibles and rituals of daily life, portraying landscapes, peasant life and biblical scenes in startling detail. Much like the great humanist scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam, Bruegel questioned how well we really know ourselves and also how we know, or visually read, others. His work often represented mankind’s ignorance and insignificance, emphasizing the futility of ambition and the absurdity of pride. This superbly illustrated volume examines how Bruegel’s art and ideas enabled people to ponder what it meant to be human. Published to coincide with the 450th anniversary of Bruegel’s death, it will appeal to all those interested in art and philosophy, the Renaissance and Flemish painting.

Elizabeth Alice Honig is Professor of European Art History at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Jan Brueghel and the Senses of Scale (2016) and Painting and the Market in Early Modern Antwerp (1998).