A “Once in a lifetime” event. The world’s first ever major monograph exhibition featuring Pieter Bruegel the Elder and his magnificent work.

2nd October, 2018 till 13th January, 2019

Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna welcomes Pieter Bruegel the Elder in commemoration of the 450th anniversary of his death for “Bruegel At Kunsthistorisches”. Signifying the first major showcase of the Netherland painters monograph works, this exhibit showcases over forty paintings, sixty drawings and eighty prints, either on loan from private collectors or from partner galleries/museums.

As a fun side note, A team from Bioblo has built a 2.60 metre-high replica of Bruegel’s “Tower of Babel” consisting of roughly 30,000 bricks, on display from 10am – 6pm in the Bassano Hall on the second Floor.

“The exhibition ‘Bruegel’ in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna will be an absolutely unique event, and a ‘must-see’ for every art lover. It will be the very first time ever that the full range of works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder will be on view”

-Statement from the Curators (Elke Oberthaler, Sabine Pénot, Manfred Sellink, Ron Spronk

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About the Artist

Gaining great respect and notoriety as one of the periods most coveted artists during his life time, with pieces often selingl for exceptionally high amounts to collectors and patrons from all over Europe. Bruegel’s works helped to revolutionize the landscape and genre painting movements thanks due to his unmatched compositions and subject matter, relying upon darker, richer tones and colour pallete.

Often depicting scenes of great emotion, he quickly became revered as the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance, with his signature piece “The Tower Of Babel” going onto become one of the most recognized and lauded works from that era (now a permeant work at Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna).

Related: One Of The Rarest Medieval French Tapestries In History

Bruegel At Kunsthistorisches: A Once-In-A-Lifetime Exhibition

Due to the fragile nature of many of Bruegel’s works, and the number or works in private hands, very few of his artworks have ever been loaned to any institution for exhibition, which makes this showcase truly a once in a lifetime experience. With a total of 90 works in display, ranging from paper sketches, canvas and panels, Kunsthistorisches Museum has curated an exhibit that will soon be regarded as THE signature Bruegel exhibit by bringing together works from private collectors and international museums to create a grand-like experience for the audience.

Fans of the Renaissance master, will not get a more in-depth and enlightened view of Bruegel’s creative process and his evolution of style, subject and artistic method then with this showcase.

Notable highlights from the exhibition include, “The Haymaking” (Lobkowicz Collections, Prague), “View of the Bay of Naples” (Galleria Doria Pamphilij, Rome), “Two Monkeys” (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) a decronstruction of this piece is also on display showing each stage of the original restoration process, “The Triumph of Death” (Prado, Madrid), “Dulle Griet” (Museum Mayer van de Berg, Antwerp), “The Tower of Babel” (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam), as well as  the drawings “The Beekeepers” (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), and “The Painter and the Connoisseur”  (Albertina, Vienna).

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Upon first entering the exhibit hall, you are met with a vast collection of drawings and sketches, creating during the early stages of Bruegel’s career. Between exhibition halls, audience are greeted by ‘Christ carrying the Cross’, Bruegel’s largest panel work in its original format, with both front and back segments visible. The outstanding quality of handling and paint layer being sone of the reasons Bruegel’s paintings have survived four and a half centuries. Examples of the restoration process these works have undertaken is also provided to the viewer.

Related: Melbourne’s Winter Masterpieces, “MoMA At NGV: 130 Years Of Modern And Contemporary Art”

Next up, a more intimate room looks at Bruegel’s training as a miniaturist; with “The Tower of Babel” as its focal point. This section of the showcase is made all the more impressive as this is the first occasion in history that both depictions of The Tower of Babel have been together since they were in the collection of Emperor Rudolf II. A selection of contemporary artefacts depicted in Battle between Carnival and Lent invites visitors to appreciate the wealth of details included in these compositions, to comprehend the meaning of the individual scenes, and to appreciate Bruegel’s unrivalled skill in capturing the material quality of depicted objects.

On display in gallery three are Bruegel’s later works such as his “Peasant” series, such as “Peasant Wedding and Peasant Dance”, next up is one of his ‘legacy-paintings’, the intriguing “The Magpie on the Gallows”. closing out the exhibit is a contrasting examination of “The Birdnester” and “The Beekeepers”.

Curators Of The Exhibition

Elke Oberthaler: Head of the Paintings Conservation Studio, Picture Gallery, Kunsthistorisches Museum
Sabine Pénot: Curator of Netherlandish and Dutch Paintings, Picture Gallery, Kunsthistorisches Museum
Manfred Sellink: General Director and Head Curator, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (KMSKA), Antwerp, Belgium; Professor of Art History, University of Gent, Belgium
Ron Spronk: Professor of Art History, Queen’s University, Canada; Hieronymus Bosch Chair, Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Director Sabine Haag talks about the special exhibition “Bruegel” (Kunsthistorisches Museum YouTube channel)


-Sabine Haag (General Director, KHM-Museumsverband)

Included Works On Loan From

Albertina, Vienna
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich, Alte Pinakothek Bibliothèque royale de Belgique / Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België, Brussels
The British Museum, London
The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
The Trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris
The Frick Collection, New York
Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Trust Doria Pamphilj, Rome
Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt
The Lobkowicz Collections, Lobkowicz Palace, Prague Castle
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique / Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België, Brussels
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp
The National Gallery, London National
Gallery of Art, Washington
Upton House, The Bearsted Collection (National Trust)
The Phoebus Foundation, Antwerp
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Swiss Confederation, Federal Office for Culture, Collection Oskar Reinhart ‘Am Römerholz’, Winterthur
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Universiteit Leiden, Prentenkabinet
Private Collections

BRUEGEL at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna: Once in a lifetime (Kunsthistorisches Museum YouTube channel)

Ticket & Event Information:

“Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Once In A Lifetime At Kunsthistorisches, Vienna” (Exhibit)

2 October 2018 – 13 January 2019

Member Free | Adult €30 | Concession €16 | Child (under 19) Free |
Purchase tickets here
* On January 12 and 13 the exhibition will be open 6.30pm till 1am.

Kunsthistorisches Museum: Website | Instagram | Youtube

Founder & Editor in Chief @ Enzpired | Representing the magazines more traditional art movements, Timothy's primary focus is within classical fine art, particularly the Dutch Golden Age and Impressionism. With a penchant for dapper suits and the english language, striking a balance somewhere between The Great Gatsby and Oscar Wilde.