Did Bruegel and his audience know that snow was out of place in his nativity paintings?

Oct 2013
6,157
Planet Nine, Oregon
#12
There was a tradition in donor paintings and some religious art especially in northern countries of using backdrops of local towns and figures in contemporary dress; it can also be seen in Van Eyck, and others. Layer, religious allegories and scenes could be fused into genre paintings, as in Vermeer. Later, Rembrandt and many others used contemporary arms and armour in historical scenes, and when they attempted to imagine ancient scenes and dress, things could become quite fanciful. The break with the Catholic church and the ability to see the sacred in everyday life also played into this.
 
Jan 2010
4,365
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#14
That’s a good point, given that the climate was much colder when Bruegel painted than it is today. I still think Deaf Tuner has the answer: Bruegel painted what was around him, and I for one am delighted that he did—we have a glimpse of what life looked like in his time.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
13,843
Europix
#15
There was a tradition in donor paintings and some religious art especially in northern countries of using backdrops of local towns and figures in contemporary dress; it can also be seen in Van Eyck, and others. Layer, religious allegories and scenes could be fused into genre paintings, as in Vermeer. Later, Rembrandt and many others used contemporary arms and armour in historical scenes, and when they attempted to imagine ancient scenes and dress, things could become quite fanciful. The break with the Catholic church and the ability to see the sacred in everyday life also played into this.
Not only, Todd.

If You look at fresques depicting the judgment day in the Orthodox part of Europe, You'll see plenty of pravoslavnji bojars in the vertous ranks and Ottomans in the damnated ranks, for example.
 
Likes: Todd Feinman

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,710
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#16
Clothes of Persian Royalty must've been pretty difficult to get a hold of in those days, far easier to paint models wearing contemporary outfits.

As for Bruegel, maybe a town fully blanketed with snow would've pleased his patrons more than a winter scene without snow, maybe he had a ton of Titanium White to use up, who knows?
Clothes of Persian Royalty must've been pretty difficult to get a hold of in those days, far easier to paint models wearing contemporary outfits.

As for Bruegel, maybe a town fully blanketed with snow would've pleased his patrons more than a winter scene without snow, maybe he had a ton of Titanium White to use up, who knows?
There wen't any Persian kings at the Nativity, although there were reportedly lots of kings and kingdoms the realm of the Arsacid king of kings. The Iranian visitors were magi, wise men, astrologers, etc., members of the priestly class, not kings. They were describes as kings only in centuries later traditions.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
13,843
Europix
#17
There wen't any Persian kings at the Nativity, although there were reportedly lots of kings and kingdoms the realm of the Arsacid king of kings. The Iranian visitors were magi, wise men, astrologers, etc., members of the priestly class, not kings. They were describes as kings only in centuries later traditions.
In the French culture the problem was solved: they're called "Les 3 Rois Mages"- the 3 magi-kings.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
5,032
#18
It's usual for artists to depict historical scenes in terms that their contemporary audiences could understand. This is Évrard d'Espinques' painting of King Arthur's Round Table, from around 1490. It's hardly a dark age scene

 
Oct 2013
6,157
Planet Nine, Oregon
#19
It's usual for artists to depict historical scenes in terms that their contemporary audiences could understand. This is Évrard d'Espinques' painting of King Arthur's Round Table, from around 1490. It's hardly a dark age scene

Yeah, here is the destruction of the Egyptians in Exodus in full plate armour with polearms in the 15th century: