Elaborately worked details define most of the Elder’s paintings but, in The Fall of the Rebel Angels, he manages to surpass even himself! If anyone could encompass an entire cabinet of curiosities in one painting – and have tons of fun in the process, that must be Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
So absorbed was I by all these wonderful details – every little one a work of art in itself, I almost missed the violence the work is supposed to depict, with the fall of Lucifer and his fellow rebel angels, chased away from heaven by Archangel Michael.
Another ”fun” detail: The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Pieter Bruegel the Elder is one of the masterpieces at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The Royal Museums acquired the painting in 1846 thinking it was the work of his son, Pieter Brueghel the Younger. The work was then attributed to Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) until 1898 when the date and signature “MDLXII / Brvegel” were found in the bottom left-hand corner, hidden by the frame.
Thus the painting was finally attributed to its legitimate creator, Bruegel the Elder. [source]
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium [Musée Oldmasters Museum], Brussels
October 19th, 2019