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Prints in the Age of Bruegel (1500-1585)

Be sure to plan a trip to Brussels this year because the city is shining the spotlight on the multifaceted painter and printmaker Bruegel.

Prints in the Age of Bruegel

27 Feb


23 Jun


Bozar Brussels


Our familiarity with Bruegel's paintings stems from the fact that they have been mass reproduced. But in the 16th century, there was no quick way to copy and paste an image. Printmaking was the only method of reproducing work. Bruegel (and his publisher Hieronymus Cook) understood the importance of this technique very early on and used the printing press to distribute his original designs on a mass scale, even to places far beyond the Southern Netherlands.

However, Bruegel's graphic work is just the tip of the iceberg. This exhibition shows that printmaking was a commonly used technique in the Southern Netherlands during this period. It was not only used to reproduce art, but also to enable many forms of visual communication, such as newsletters and political propaganda. This intriguing exhibition illustrates how masterful craftsmanship and a daring entrepreneurial spirit were the keys to succes in the 16th century, just as they are today.


Anonymous in the manner of Bosch, engraved by Pieter Van der Heyden. - Musicians in a mussel shell. Hieronymus Cock © KBR, Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België

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