Pieter Bruegel (the Elder)
Pieter Brueghel - The rustic (around 1525-1569)
We do not know much about the life of Brueghel as there is no document or letter about his birth or genealogy. Everything we know comes from the biography of Carl von Manders which appeared in 1604, ie 35 years after the death of Brueghel. So, his biography is still vague.
It is estimated that between 1525 and 1530, he was born near Breda (Netherlands). He learned how to painting at art school with the painters Pieter Van Aelst Coecke and Jerome Cock in Antwerp.
In 1553, on a trip to Italy, a mandatory stop for Northern European painters, he worked in the workshop of Giulio Clovio, miniature painter in Rome. This trip did not influenced his work, but the journey he took through the Alps inspired him to make numerous illustrations and paintings.
In 1563, he leaves the city of Antwerp to go to Brussels where he died on September 5, 1569. He painted in this city until his death. That was where his sons Jan, Pieter and daughter Maria grew up.
Having started as a copyist of Jérôme Bosch, Brueghel developed a very personal style presenting the lives of peasants and beggars, the simplicity of their way of life and at the same time detailing the nature of their surroundings.
His attention to detail gives the impression of watching photographs of this period of time.