Around 1600, three decades after the death of artist Pieter Bruegel (about 1525-1569), a renewed interest in his work sparked the so-called Bruegel Renaissance. Admired for his scenes of everyday life and his realistic landscapes, he was highly praised for faithfully following nature. Appropriately, the inscription on Sadeler's print is a lengthy discussion about the imitation of nature, a matter of great interest to artists at the time. Bruegel is surrounded by Minerva and Mercury (who here personify Art and Eloquence, respectively) and a composite figure of Fortune and Fame. The cherub bearing the skull and torch at bottom is probably Thanatos, a classical symbol of death. He bows to mourn the artist, but as the still-flaming torch indicates, Bruegel's genius and fame are immortal.

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  • Title: Peter Bruegel
  • Creator: Aegidius Sadeler (Flemish, c. 1570-1629), Bartholomaeus Spranger (Flemish, 1546-1611)
  • Date Created: 1606
  • Physical Dimensions: Sheet: 30.1 x 20.4 cm (11 7/8 x 8 1/16 in.)
  • Type: Print
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1925.1218
  • Medium: engraving
  • State of work: ii/v
  • Inscriptions: around portrait, in plate: PETRVS BRVEGEL EX AMBIVARITIS BELGA PICTOR AEVI HVIVS INTER PRINCIPES ; lower left, in plate: Bar. Sprangers Inventor. ; across bottom, in plate: Ars Naturam vicerat, nisi et Ars per Naturam esset: Natura Artem æternarat, nisi et Naturæ nihil æterni esset. Alumnus Altricem / æmulatus, quâ licuit adsecutus est: Altrix Aemulum alumnata, quâ datum prosecuta est. apagè liuor, Artem Naturæ, Naturæ foedus / sociat: apagè dolor, Naturam Arti, artis foetus sufficit. Viuit in Arte Natura, quam Patris manus expressit: Viuit in Naturâ Arts, quam Fili / Genius adsequitur. illam, Naturâ ambiente Virgo Tritonis, Heroum choris inseruit: hunc, Arte prensante Majânatus Olifer, deses flumen / redixit. redáccende facem Lucifuge, inique facis nisi Patrem in Filio noscis: adtolle tubam Terrigena, nihil agis nisi uterque tibi ßuperstes est / Patrem Filio, humc in illo, sibi utrumque seculis; Artis, Naturæ / Posteritatis, cultor, admirator, amator Sac. Cæs. Mai. sculptor / Egidius Sadeler, exhibet. [infinity symbol] . IC[reversed]C . VI .
  • Department: Prints
  • Culture: Flanders, 16th century
  • Credit Line: Gift of P. & D. Colnaghi Co.
  • Collection: PR - Engraving
  • Accession Number: 1925.1218

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