A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
There are a lot of reasons to check out Larry Silver’s recent book on Pieter Bruegel. Chief among them are the illustrations. Abbeville press has done an incredible job reproducing Breugel’s paintings, giving us all full color plates, and page after page of glorious details. Short of some of Taschen’s huge monographs, like the Klimt and Da Vinci books we recently added to our art collection, this Bruegel volume might have the best reproductions in the library.
Flipping through it, you could be forgiven for ignoring Silver’s text, which seems to take up less than a third of the book. But don’t hesitate to dive into it. Silver does an excellent job bringing a fresh perspective to Pieter Bruegel’s work. I had long associated Bruegel only with his paintings of peasant life and genre scenes. But Silver’s thematic breakdown sheds light on both his more traditional religious subject matter and his Bosch-like paintings of hellish fantasy-scapes. I tend to like art history with a bit more narrative, but Silver’s analysis of the paintings and etchings doesn’t really need to be packed with biographical or historical incident, it’s compelling enough on its own.
So whether you want to take it home with you or just take a look at the prints, you should stop by our art section and check out Larry Silver’s Pieter Bruegel. It’s recommended for anyone with even a passing interest in the Northern Renaissance.
Review by Matthew