Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap (1565) by Pieter Bruegel

Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap - Pieter Bruegel - 1565

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Artwork Information

TitleWinter Landscape with a Bird Trap
ArtistPieter Bruegel
MediumOil on Panel
Dimensions37 x 55 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap

“Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap” is a notable artwork by the Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel created in 1565. The oil on panel painting measures 37 by 55 centimeters and is executed in the Northern Renaissance style. The genre of the artwork is landscape and it belongs to a private collection.

The artwork provides a vista of rural life in the colder months, deftly rendering the stark beauty of a wintry day. Blanketed in snow, the scene is bustling with activity as tiny figures go about their various pursuits. In the foreground, there is a frozen pond where people are engaging in ice-skating and playing games, suggesting a sense of communal enjoyment despite the harsh environment. The intricacy with which these figures are painted highlights Bruegel’s ability to capture the dynamics of life in minute detail.

In the background, one can observe a serene landscape dotted with homes whose rooftops are laced with snow. Bare-branched trees punctuate the scene, giving a sense of the season’s desolation. Noteworthy is the bird trap referenced in the title, a subtle detail that may escape immediate notice, but upon closer inspection reveals itself, hinting at the inherent struggles for survival that both human and animal life face during winters. Beyond, a soft, wintery sky stretches out, possibly indicating the vastness and the gentle bleakness of the season. Birds in flight and perched on the trees add another layer of life and movement to this tranquil yet vibrant tableau.

The painting is a masterful representation of the genre, encapsulating both the charm and the hardship of rural snowy landscapes during the 16th century. It also serves as a historical document, reflecting the customs and daily activities of the era it depicts.

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