Harvest. The "Seasons" cycle, the end of summer

Pieter Bruegel The Elder • Painting, 1565, 119×162 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Landscape
Style of art: Northern Renaissance
Technique: Oil
Materials: Wood
Date of creation: 1565
Size: 119×162 cm
Artwork in selections: 24 selections

Description of the artwork «Harvest. The "Seasons" cycle, the end of summer»

Peter Bruegel the Elder, the most famous representative of the famous dynasty of Dutch painters, was nicknamed "The Peasant". His works are filled with love for his native land and its inhabitants, first of all, the peasants. This topic in itself was revolutionary at that time - earlier no one dared to represent the protagonists of the representatives of the lower classes. At the same time, the close connection between man and nature is emphasized by some facelessness of the image of human figures, as if dissolving in the surrounding reality.

Painting by Brueghel "Reaping" from the calendar cycle devoted to the change of seasons, was painted by the artist in 1565. The basis of the plot of such works, as a rule, was any occupation, crafts corresponding to each month. Bruegel, for the first time, made an emphasis on the surrounding nature, the landscape. This feature is typical for all the masterpieces of the painter from this series.
The cycle was written for one of the regular customers of the artist - a wealthy merchant from Antwerp, Jongeline, who had to part with his acquisition because of debts. Subsequently, the paintings wandered from one owner to another - the location of most of them is unknown. The last owner of "Harvest" was the bride of Brussels, Jean Paul Sels. It was he who sold the canvas in 1919 to the Metropolitan Museum.

The plot of the picture of Bruegel "Reaping"

In his works Peter Bruegel recognizes the existence of a certain natural order, according to which each living creature has its own special place in the universe. The meaning of human existence is in labor, achievement of harmony with oneself, surrounding people and nature as a whole.

In the picture of Bruegel "Reaping" a wheat field is depicted. Working on it in the scorching heat, people decided to rest: sit down to have lunch and a few words. The artist accurately conveyed the atmosphere of a hot summer day: the warm shades used to depict the field, people, sheaves and trees contrast with the cold color of the whitish sky, as if burned in the heat.

Despite the fact that the main group of people is portrayed by Brueghel in a relaxed relaxed state during a short rest, not all of the characters in the picture are so static. Work on the field continues: peasants are reaping wheat, women knit sheaves. In life, life - this idea, of course, is also close to the painter. A lot of details on the canvas serve as tools to support this idea: the birds that have flown up, the women going to the field, the peasant who has just finished work and is approaching the improvised dining table.

Dimensional, calm, but at the same time not a dying life in full harmony with the laws of nature - what Peter Bruegel tried to show in his works.