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Northern Renaissance: Pieter Brueghel: The Kermesse of St George

When we hear the word Renaissance we usually think of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo, and Florence, Italy, but there was a Northern Renaissance too. The Kermesse of St George by Pieter Brueghel the Younger is a very interesting piece painted in 1628. Differing from the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance focusses on the life of peasant rather than the wealthy. We may underestimate any art from 15th to 16th century’s if it is not from the Italian Renaissance, but, I think that this piece is actually better than some paintings from the Italian Renaissance.

As mentioned above, Northern Renaissance art focussed on the life of the peasants instead of the wealthy religious figures, merchants and leaders. This art shows that there were many people doing ordinary jobs and just living their daily life. This art is special because it shows you what you would normally see if you looked outside your window if were to live during the Renaissance. Brueghel didn’t make any single person stand out in his painting, excellently portraying how serfs were all equal and they all worked together. He used perspective a little with how the small village slowly vanishes into the distance with the winding dirt road. This painting definitely captures the spirit of the Northern Renaissance because it describes how life would be for peasants at this time. Although, it doesn’t really resemble the Italian Renaissance because it only focuses on peasants, not wealthy families. The Kermesse of St George by Pieter Brueghel best illustrates life during the Northern Renaissance and is still an outstandingly detailed piece.


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