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J.A.A. Purves

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

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Here's the A&F link to the film The Mill and the Cross.

Here's "The Procession to Calvary" of which themes it sounds like director Lech Majewski is attempting to take us in The Mill and the Cross.


Here's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" of which W.H. Auden was fond enough of to make the subject of his poem, "Musee des Beaux Arts."


And here is "The Hunters in the Snow" which we see quite a bit of in Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris.


So many tiny little details. Pieter Bruegel the Elder is a 1500s Flemish Renaissance painter who seems to have a considerable influence. Anyone know for sure if he was a Christian? It'd be interesting to know more about him.

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Musée des Beaux Arts

About suffering they were never wrong,

The Old Masters; how well, they understood

Its human position; how it takes place

While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;

How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting

For the miraculous birth, there always must be

Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating

On a pond at the edge of the wood:

They never forgot

That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course

Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot

Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse

Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away

Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may

Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,

But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone

As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green

Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen

Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,

had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

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Had the chance in September 03 to spend a day in Vienna. Despite fighting a nasty bug which required me to become overly familiar with the various restrooms in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, I remember being awed by the beauty of Bruegel's work. It's very impressive, and a few visitors were painting reproductions in the galleries.

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