Three soldiers (1568; Brussels, Belgium) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Three soldiers - Pieter Bruegel the Elder - 1568; Brussels, Belgium

Artwork Information

TitleThree soldiers
ArtistPieter Bruegel the Elder
Date1568; Brussels, Belgium
Dimensions20.3 x 17.8 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationFrick Collection, New York City, NY, US
Order a Custom Print of this Artwork!

About Three soldiers

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, a pivotal figure in Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, created a notable work titled “The Three Soldiers” in 1568. This oil on oak panel painting is one of Bruegel’s genre art pieces, which depicts scenes from everyday life, often with a focus on peasants and common folk. The dimensions of this artwork are modest, measuring approximately 20.3 cm by 17.7 cm.

“The Three Soldiers” holds the distinction of being one of only two surviving grisaille paintings by Bruegel, the other being “The Death of the Virgin” at Upton House. Grisaille is a technique that uses shades of grey to create a sculpture-like appearance, and it is quite rare in Bruegel’s oeuvre. This particular piece is housed in The Frick Collection in New York City, a museum established in 1913 and located at 1 East 70th Street, Manhattan.

Bruegel’s work, including “The Three Soldiers,” is celebrated for its innovative subject matter choices, as he was among the first artists to focus on landscapes and peasant life in large paintings. His influence extended to the Dutch Golden Age painting and beyond, shaping the trajectory of Western art.

The painting’s journey before arriving at The Frick Collection included a period in a private collection in England around the 1900s, followed by ownership by an antiques dealer named Mr. Marks circa 1960. It was later sold at a Christie’s auction in 1964 to Speelman, then to Agnew, and finally acquired by The Frick Collection in 1965.

Bruegel lived most of his life in Antwerp until 1563, after which he moved to Brussels upon marrying Mayken, the daughter of Pieter Coecke. He continued his work in Brussels until his death on September 9, 1569. “The Three Soldiers” was created during his time in Brussels and is a testament to his enduring legacy as a master artist who captured the essence of his era through his detailed and humanistic portrayal of the world around him.

Other Artwork from Pieter Bruegel the Elder

More Northern Renaissance Artwork

Scroll to Top