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Featured Masterpiece  

This month's featured oil painting is Brueghel's 'Winter landscape with a Bird Trap'.

Pieter Brueghel the Elder or Bruegel (1525-1569) was a FlemishRenaissance painter and printmaker known for his landscapes and peasant scenes. He is nicknamed Peasant Brueghel to distinguish him from other members of the Brueghel dynasty, but is also the one generally meant when the context does not make clear which Brueghel is being referred to. From 1559 he dropped the h from his name and started signing his paintings as Bruegel.Painted in a simpler style than the Italianate art that prevailed in his time. The most obvious influence on his art is the older Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch.

In Winter landscape with a Bird Trap (1565) the bird trap, which is quite prominently set off from its snowy surroundings in the right foreground, surely had a prominent meaning for Brueghels contemporaries, even if that meaning escapes us now; and the huge crow in the upper right hand corner is far too obvious to be just a bird: it stands out as a monumental warning to the birds that busy themselves all near the trap. The peaceful environment, with smug houses and insouciant skaters is misleading: danger lurks everywhere and warnings must be heeded.   


  
      &nbs p;
 
 
 
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