Pieter Bruegel the Elder is considered the greatest Dutch draughtsman of the sixteenth century. Even during his lifetime his drawings were highly valued and many ended up being widely disseminated in the for m of copperplate prints. Drawing on the pictorial tradition of previous artist generations, Bruegel provided new impulses in terms of both subject and form. On the eve of the Dutch independence struggle against Spanish rule, at a time of political, socia l and religious upheavals, Pieter Bruegel (ca. 1525 - 1569) conceived an equally complex pictorial world. Humorous and down - to - earth, astute and deeply critical, he reflected on the society of his time. This richly illustrated catalogue examines Bruegel's artistic origins and provides an overview of his entire graphic oeuvre, which comprises such contradictory themes as the "Peasant Bruegel and Bruegel as a "second Hieronymus Bosch", an innovator of landscape art, and a satirical moralist.
Klaus Albrecht Schroder is an art historian and director of the Albertina, a museum in Vienna, Austria, with a focus on old master prints and drawings and twentieth-century art. Eva Michel is a curator at the Albertina, focusing on Dutch art from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century.