The Little Tower of Babel (c. 1563) by Pieter Bruegel

The Little Tower of Babel - Pieter Bruegel - c. 1563

Artwork Information

TitleThe Little Tower of Babel
ArtistPieter Bruegel
Datec. 1563
MediumOil on panel
Dimensions60 x 74.5 cm
Current LocationMuseum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam

About The Little Tower of Babel

Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s painting, The Little Tower of Babel, is one of a series of three paintings created in 1563. It is an oil on panel painting and categorized under the Northern Renaissance style. The famous version of the painting is known as the Great Tower of Babel and resides in Vienna, while this painting can be found at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

The painting features a cityscape that depicts the construction of an immense tower that reaches towards heaven, which was said to have been built by humans who sought to reach God. Most scholars believe that Bruegel altered this work while working on the great version housed in Vienna. It is thought he painted it after finishing its predecessor and further enhanced it with greater detail in some areas like delineation.

Although religious themes are commonplace during this period, the work remains significant today as an imaginative creative expression regarding human ambition and imagination. By portraying a scene from mythology through his unique vision and technique, Bruegel invites viewers to contemplate human innovation alongside respect for faith and spirituality throughout history.

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