The title of the review is the book's subtitle. It is not known whether Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c. 525-1569, favored the Catholic or Protestant side in the disputes in Holland and Belgium, but the authors believe that the paintings contain a subtext. The first mention of Bruegel occurs in 1551. He was enrolled as a master of the guild in Antwerp. Antwerp was a good place for a painter to be. Bruegel's Tower of Babel paintings may reflect the general insecurity of Catholics, Lutherans, Anabaptists, and Calvinists living side by side. The theme was used three times.
In 1563 Bruegel left Antwerp to settle in Brussels. The significance of his painting of chained monkeys isn't clear. Bruegel treated biblical scenes in an almost peripheral manner. Bruegel may have been the first European painter to depict falling snow in 'The Adoration of the Kings in Snow,' 1567. Two hundred fifty children were shown in the painting, 'Children's Games,' 1560. Bruegel produced a pronounced realistic touch in his paintings. The painter characterized the seasons, man as part of nature. His paintings also portray demons, death, avarice, lust, work. He featured peasant weddings, people eating, Netherlandish sayings, (the book has a chart to enable a person to read one of the paintings), and 'The Land of Cockaigne,' 1567.
Experts attribute forty five or so paintings to Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The book contains excellent reproductions, a timeline of known facts on Bruegel together with the significant political and artistic events, thus comprising a sort of life and times via thumbnail sketch, and notes to the text. The compact format is welcome.