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

About Three soldiers

The artwork entitled “Three Soldiers” is a genre painting by the Northern Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, created in the year 1568. The piece measures 20.3 by 17.8 centimeters and is currently housed in the Frick Collection in New York City, NY, United States. This work is representative of the period’s detailed and often moralistic approach to art.

In “Three Soldiers,” Bruegel depicts a trio of figures clad in 16th-century military attire, their postures and equipment emblematic of their respective roles. Two of the figures dominate the foreground; one is wearing a helmet and a breastplate, drawing a sword from its sheath, and the other donning a plumed helmet, holding a musket at the ready, with a sword hanging at his side. The third figure, partially obscured in the background, carries a large shield.

The artist’s meticulous attention to detail is evident in the lifelike rendering of the soldiers’ garments and armaments. Even though the picture plane is relatively small, the artwork is rich with texture and subtle color variations, particularly in the soldiers’ puffed sleeves and striated leggings, which lend the work depth and realism. Bruegel’s skill in composition, capturing a moment that feels both candid and staged, is also on display, inviting viewers to ponder the context and narrative behind these soldiers’ gathering.

Other Artwork from Pieter Bruegel the Elder

More Northern Renaissance Artwork

Scroll to Top