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Childrens Games  by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Childrens Games


Pieter Brueghel the Elder

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fence · workbench · water · grass · barrell · houses · bricks · stilts · trees · village
Childrens Games by Pieter Brueghel the Elder
1560   ·    ·  31.32 Megapixel  ·  Picture ID: 347735
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Michael E.
Art Print on Photo paper matte/satin, 81cm x 59cm.

Monika R.
Art print on Canvas glossy, 66cm x 48cm, stretched on stretcher.
Around 1560, Pieter Bruegel the Elder created the picture that was later named "Children's Games". From the perspective of a bird sitting on a roof or of a human looking out of the window from a higher building, the viewer looks at what's happening in the neighborhood. Here are not only, partly forgotten, games to recognize, also customs and traditions were captured figuratively. The fact that the children wear adult clothing seems intentional.

Children are bathing in the stream behind the village. One uses a pig's bladder as a buoyancy aid. A boy is trying to climb a tree. On the fenced meadow, some children practice headstand and somersaulting and where else horses are leashed, a pair of boys do gymnastics on the horizontal bar. Even an early form of freerunning is to be admired, as a boy tries to run up the wall. Also jumping, tires beat and stilt walk are represented here. A girl balances a broom on her finger and a boy practices juggling his cap. Some guys whip their spinning tops on the flat area behind the house. Games such as pot-fighting, boules, marbles and blind cow delight children. Even hats and Kibbel-Kabbel are still represented, almost forgotten varieties.

Of course, knight and fighting games should not be missing. As some try to push each other off the bench, wrestling and hair-raising, even a lance fight can be seen. Also a kind of combat training is the fly dab, which a boy on the right edge of the picture devotionally exercises. Another tries to shoot the bird. At least here we recognize a motto.

Much of the games are exercises for later life. Sand castles, building bricks and the hobby horse are unforgotten classics. Also "father, mother, child" and the well-stocked dollhouse are well-known. A diligent "shopkeeper" grinds a brick, which she weighs carefully and fills in a bag. It probably got him from the "masons" who started a construction, but now rather risk a cat fight. On the square you can see a christening procession and a wedding with rose petals and a crowned bride. Two children make music: a girl in front of the boy with the hobbyhorse and one behind the red fence with the rattle in his hand.
The girls in the meadow in front of the stream turn around in a circle like dervishes and then crouch down. This is about who can bring the rock into a perfect circle.

In the lower left, two girls play with the ankle bones of goats or sheep. It could be a kind of dice game called Astragal. But these bones were also used for prophecy. Farther back some children have built up such bones for a game; a kind of target throwing that may possibly be understood as a forerunner of bowling. Boys have set up a laboratory in front of the gate. The typical pointed hats of the magicians have made them from rushes. Here you study the wildlife. Whether the middle is practicing soap bubbles, or inflates a frog, is left to the imagination of the beholder. A little girl addresses the "Magicians" because of her gyroscope. In the chamber in the house a girl is rocking, being pushed by a boy. From the window someone looks down through the mask of an adult on the square.

Dealing with the excretions was much freer in the artist's time, as the peeing girl on the wall on the top left proves. At the lower left, a child tries to bring a heap into a pretty shape.

Surely you will find even more motifs in this picture! © Meisterdrucke
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Other art prints by Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Childrens Games The Fight Between Carnival and Lent The Peasant Dance The Return of the Herd The Dance of the Bride The magpie on the gallows The parable of the blind The Tower of Babel The three soldiers Massacre of the Innocents The Dutch proverbs Spring, 1565 The Sermon of Saint John the Baptist, detail A pedal crane The Peasant and the Nest Robber
Other motives from the category Famous masterpieces
The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog Cafe Terrace, Forum Square, Arles, 1888 The Sacred Hour Two Cut Sunflowers The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490-1500 Death and Life, c.1911 The Waterlily Pond with the Japanese Bridge Self Portrait with Gloves The Portrait of Giovanni  Arnolfini and his Wife (The Arnolfini Marriage) The Swing Waterlilies, Evening  (see detail 382333) Danaë Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose Birth of Venus Almond Blossom
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Kinderspiele (AT) Kinderspiele (DE) Kinderspiele (CH) Childrens Games  (US) Giochi per bambini (IT) Jeux pour enfants (FR) Kinderspellen (NL) Juegos para niños (ES) Детские игры (RU) लड़कों का खेल (HI) Jogos Infantis (PT)

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