Bosch and Bruegel

Alexandra Harris via The Guardian writes:

Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder work like antagonistic muscles in the imagination, pulling with and against each other. Bosch is a painter of medieval hellfire whose fantastical creations exceed our nightmares. Bruegel, most memorably and wonderfully, shows us a recognisable world where children lick bowls clean, bagpipers draw breath and harvesters stretch out in the sun. Turning from metaphysics and from myth, he attends to the ploughman who labours his way across a field while Icarus falls into the sea far below. Bosch’s pale figures belong to the international gothic; Bruegel’s weighty peasants dance vigorously into modern times.

Yet Bruegel (born 10 years after the elder artist’s death) was greeted by his contemporaries as a “second Bosch”, and the connections between the two Netherlandish masters have fascinated viewers for centuries. In this revelatory new study, the US art historian Joseph Leo Koerner argues that they are – together – the originators of what would later be called “genre” painting.

Read the rest from The Guardian