The Harvesters

Pieter Bruegel the Elder Netherlandish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 613

This painting originally belonged to a six-part series depicting different times of year that was commissioned by an Antwerp merchant for his country house. This particular scene, usually said to represent the months of July and August, revels in the drowsy heat of harvesttime. Some figures labor in the fields, but others doze, eat, or even skinny-dip (in the far background). While clearly based on Bruegel’s firsthand observation of the cycles of country life, the painting maps realistic detail onto an impossible landscape: it shows a wide-ranging vista from a promontory that could never exist in the lowlands of Bruegel’s native Flanders.

#5179. The Harvesters

The Harvesters, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlandish, Breda (?) ca. 1525–1569 Brussels), Oil on wood

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