“Hatwa”, Peter Braigel the Elder – a description of the picture

“Hatwa”, Peter Braigel the Elder – a description of the picture
"Hatwa", Peter Braigel the Elder - a description of the picture - 1

  • Posted by Peter Braigel Sr
  • Museum: Metropolitan Museum
  • Year: 1565

Description of the picture :

Harvest – Peter Braigel the Elder. 1565. Wood, butter. 116.5×159.5

   Five Braigel paintings are known, dedicated to the seasons, and one of them is located in the Museum of Metropolitan “Harvest”. She, like the rest, was commissioned by the artist’s long-term patron Niklas Jongelink for his house near Antwerp.

   This series reflected the medieval tradition of decorating calendars with images of human activities dating back to a certain month of the year. Zhatwe is believed to correspond to August. At the same time, this is already a purely Renaissance work, it noticeably the influence of Italian Renaissance painting, the wealth of which Braigel could see during his journey. However, everything he received was greatly revised, and his own, Brahegelian, perception of the world, is already at the forefront. Take at least the fact that none of his contemporaries created such landscapes and panoramic paintings of peasant labor.

   A rather spread landscape – the golden sea of wheat, the village and yellow fields in the distance – goes into a foggy haze to a far lake. This space is inhabited by people who reap, knit sheaves, carry huge wheat, eat and sleep under a tree, and there, in the village, they also do business. It is not known where Braigel was born, but he often visited the countryside and knew peasant life well. She was a constant source of inspiration for him, for which he received the nickname “Men.”. Having managed to mercilessly expose the evil sides of human nature, Braigel portrayed the peasants with sympathy and love for their work and relaxation.

   Here, as in other works of the cycle, the balance of nature and man, which is achieved only by a decent life, is emphasized. To the conclusion about what agreement between man and nature – read by God – the world holds on, Braigel unobtrusively brings his picture.