PETER BRUEGEL THE ELDER: Artist of Abundance by H. Arthur & Mina C. Klein
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PETER BRUEGEL THE ELDER: Artist of Abundance

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An illustrated portrait of his life, era and art"" which is both a beautifully wrought book and an eloquent vehicle of instruction; it could also be the best thing that has happened to Bruegel since color reproduction rendered his paintings familiar and innocuous. Here, in a roughly chronological presentation, is a generous sampling from his total ocuvre against the background of religious dissension and economic insecurity in Antwerp; the drawings carefully calculated as models for engravings and the final drawings--scenes of daily Flemish life, mountain landscapes from the journey to Italy, precise portraits of ships, demonic fantasies with moral implications in the Bosch tradition; and the paintings--at first multi-form and tumultous, becoming more and more concentrated and astringent, culminating in the gasp that is The Parable of the Blind. Because Bruegel was, by exposure and inclination, a miniaturist, the details abundantly supplied are necessary and relevant; in most cases the full composition is included for proper orientation. Inseparable is the text, lucid and sensitive the whole geared to the non-specialist reader who is less interested in style per se than in significance. Inseparable also is the look of the book from the cover in the manner of an old toile (under a full-color jacket) to the meticulously unjustified lines. Without peer among adult titles as a popular introduction to Bruegel (where Mr. Klein's own survey of the graphic work serves in part), this is also without competition as a juvenile encapsulation of an abundant vision and its diverse manifestations.

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 1968
Publisher: Macmillan