The painting “The Proverbs of the Blind”, Peter Braigel the Elder – a description

The painting “The Proverbs of the Blind”, Peter Braigel the Elder – a description
The painting "The Proverbs of the Blind", Peter Braigel the Elder - a description - 1

  • Posted by Peter Braigel Sr
  • Museum: National Museum of Capodimonte
  • Year: 1568

Description of the picture :

The Parable of the Blind – Peter Braigel the Elder. Canvas, tempera. 86 x 154 cm

   The famous artistic masterpiece of “The Proverbs of the Blind” Peter Braigel the Elder wrote shortly before his death. The plot of the picture was embodied in the genre, religious and allegorical stages.

   The work was created during the military clashes of the Spaniards with the Dutch. At this time, devastation, arbitrariness, terror and death of people reigned everywhere. Those who did not agree with the new rule of the country were ruthlessly destroyed by the Spaniards, and the rest obeyed the new government. The revolution shocked the artist, and he, full of thoughts and worries about the fate of his country, wrote a philosophical picture of “The Proverbs of the Blind”. It hides a huge spiritual, life sense. He consisted of the tragic inevitability of the fate of the Dutch people and the time in which he lived.

   The artist talentedly and wisely reflected in his work the image of humanity, drowning in darkness, if he does not follow the right, right path. Each of the heroes of the plot of the picture personifies human vices – laziness, greed, anger, cruelty, indifference, pride, hypocrisy, envy, fornication. They close the eyes of a person, corrode the soul with poison and cover them with a cloud of spiritual immorality.

   Peter Braigel depicted on a canvas near the area of Brabant, located in the southern Netherlands. A string of six blind people is moving along the road. They hold on to each other. They have staff in their hands. These people look pathetic and ugly. They are deeply unhappy. Fragrant cripples wandering around the villages ask for alms and shelter. They live poorly in the world. They do not see the world and its beauty. They may have relatives, but no one needs the poor. The blind are holding together, ejecting their miserable existence.

   The plot of the picture is full of drama. A blind guide leading other people stumbled and fell into a hole at the pond. The second person loses his support and falls after him. The same fate awaits the rest of the cripples. They have no idea about this and calmly walk along the road, relying on another. There is foggy autumn weather, carrying silence and tranquility. The sun rises above the ground. In the distance you can see the church with a spire. Cows graze in the meadow. Nature froze in anticipation of inevitability, but she is indifferent to everything. In the work, the artist used light and dark tones, observing the contrasts of flowers. Especially bright and dynamic paint in the center of the composition.

   The plot of the picture is based on the count of the blind from the Bible: “If one blind person leads another blind man, then together they will fall into the abyss.”. The moral is clear and simple! The blind is not the one who sees nothing, but the one who blindly believes the leader, following him! Misconceptions and spiritual blindness lead to the fall of both individuals.

   The picture carries a deep awareness of life. It will look great in the office, religious organizations, training centers and educational institutions.