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Book Cover
Author Sullivan, Margaret A.

Title Bruegel's peasants : art and audience in the northern Renaissance / Margaret A. Sullivan.

Published Cambridge : New York : Cambridge University Press, 1994.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  759.9493 SULL    AVAILABLE
Physical description x, 198 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some colour) ; 26 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 180-190) and index.
Contents 1. Art and audience (antiqua nobilitas) -- 2. Wit, humour, ingenuity (salsus, ridiculo, ingeniosa) -- 3. Facts and fictions (sic veris falsa reminscet) -- 4. The spectator and the world (quo spectanda modo, quo sensu credis et ore?).
Summary Bruegel's Peasants: Art and Audience in the Northern Renaissance examines the nature of the Northern Renaissance and the criteria used to recognize its humanistic themes. By identifying an audience with professional and personal ties to Bruegel, and analyzing the factors that influenced their reception of several of his most important paintings, Margaret Sullivan counters the view of Bruegel's peasant subjects as a parochial antihumanistic phenomenon. The artist's northern audience, she argues, "saw" the paintings within a framework that was largely conditioned by a knowledge of the ancients conveyed principally through literature. These provided models for the unheroic, less idealizing underside of classicism, the ungainly, ordinary, and grotesque in genres such as satire in which the didactic and the amusing coexist. As "earnest jests," Bruegel's depictions of peasants present philosophical problems humorously.
They reflect, moreover, the interest and concerns of humanists in the Low Countries in the mid-sixteenth century, successfully meeting the high expectations of an audience that applied the rigorous standards of the ancients to the art of its own time.
Subject Bruegel, Pieter, approximately 1525-1569 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Art and society -- Belgium -- Flanders -- History -- 16th century.
Art, Renaissance -- Europe, Northern.
Peasants in art.
ISBN 0521441501 (hardback)