La Visita a Betlemme (The Census at Bethlehem) - Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Framed Picture - 12" x 16"
Pieter Bruegel (also Brueghel) the Elder was a Netherlandish Renaissance painter and printmaker, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes. He is sometimes referred to as the "Peasant Bruegel".
Bruegel entered the Antwerp painters' guild in 1551. His master, was the Antwerp painter Pieter Coecke van Aelst, whose daughter Maria Bruegel married. Also in 1551 Bruegel became a free master in the Guild of Saint Luke of Antwerp.
He received the nickname "Peasant Bruegel" or "Bruegel the Peasant" for his practice of dressing up like a peasant in order to socialize at weddings and other celebrations, thereby gaining inspiration and authentic details for his genre paintings.
The Census at Bethlehem (also known as The Numbering at Bethlehem) was originally painted in 1566.
As often, Bruegel treats a biblical story as a contemporary event. And once again, reference to particular political events has been adduced - in this case, the severity of the Spanish administration in the southern Netherlands. However, Bruegel may well be making a more general criticism of bureaucratic methods.
This is a rare subject in previous Netherlandish art. The ruined castle in the background is based on the towers and gates of Amsterdam.