Pieter Bruegel’s Historical Imagination

Hardcover | February 23, 2016

Contribution byStephanie Porras

not yet rated|write a review

The question of how to understand Bruegel’s art has cast the artist in various guises: as a moralizing satirist, comedic humanist, celebrator of vernacular traditions, and proto-ethnographer. Stephanie Porras reorients these apparently contradictory accounts, arguing that the debate about how to read Bruegel has obscured his pictures’ complex relation to time and history.

Rather than viewing Bruegel’s art as simply illustrating the social realities of his day, Porras asserts that Bruegel was an artist deeply concerned with the past. In playing with the boundaries of the familiar and the foreign, history and the present, Bruegel’s images engaged with the fraught question of Netherlandish history in the years just prior to the Dutch Revolt, when imperial, religious, and national identities were increasingly drawn into tension. His pictorial style and his manipulation of traditional iconographies reveal the complex relations, unique to this moment, among classical antiquity, local history, and art history.

An important reassessment of Renaissance attitudes toward history and of Renaissance humanism in the Low Countries, this volume traces the emergence of archaeological and anthropological practices in historical thinking, their intersections with artistic production, and the developing concept of local art history.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$116.95

In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

The question of how to understand Bruegel’s art has cast the artist in various guises: as a moralizing satirist, comedic humanist, celebrator of vernacular traditions, and proto-ethnographer. Stephanie Porras reorients these apparently contradictory accounts, arguing that the debate about how to read Bruegel has obscured his pictures’ ...

Stephanie Porras is Assistant Professor of the History of Art at Tulane University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:216 pages, 10 × 8 × 1 inPublished:February 23, 2016Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271070897

ISBN - 13:9780271070896

Customer Reviews of Pieter Bruegel’s Historical Imagination

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction:

Peasants and Pagans

The Archaeological Peasant

Hybrid Histories

Bacchic Excess

Bruegel’s Art History

Conclusion:

Bruegel as History

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Porras (Tulane Univ.) elucidates the complex relationship between Bruegel’s paintings and their various contexts, including the intellectual past and the creation of a Netherlandish historical identity. . . . This book is well worth reading for its nuanced interpretation of one of the most popular and beloved painters of the northern Renaissance.”

—A. Golahny, Choice