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The exhibition is under the aegis of the Saxon State Minister of Science and Art Prof. Dr. Dr. Sabine von Schorlemer, and the Flemish Minister for Enviroment, Nature and Culture Joke Schauvliege.

The Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz are presenting the extraordinarily imaginative and ingenious pictorial world of the great Flemish painter and draughtsman Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525/30–1569) in the form of 88 prints and the drawing The Beekeepers that will be on show in Chemnitz from 13 April to 6 July 2014.
The exhibition has been organised by the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz in collaboration with the Institute of Art and Music at the Technische Universität Dresden.

The exhibition brings together the complete printed oeuvre after designs by the Antwerp Master. The theatre of the world in the 16th century unfolds here in sublime landscapes, grotesquely haunting and hellish scenes, satirical allegories, depictions of ships, Biblical stories and wild peasant festivities. The highlight of the show is one of the most valuable drawings in western art, a work that is as famous as it is puzzling: The Beekeepers, from the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder is regarded as one of the most innovative, humorous and profound artists of the early modern era. He lived in a period of time marked by major discoveries and bloody religious wars. The world was becoming larger and more diverse, and old certainties were being toppled. Distinguishing between appearances and reality became difficult. It was necessary to take a close look. So Bruegel formed his own image of the world: travelling across the Alps to Italy and associating with learned cartographers and humanists.

At first sight viewers are captivated by Bruegel’s pictures, but then they are also invited to take a longer and closer look. There is always something new to discover: it’s all in the detail, be that the devil or God! Humorous secondary scenes can be discovered, as well as critical allusions to issues topical in the artist’s day. Bruegel repeatedly questions Catholic and Protestant beliefs. Visitors to the exhibition, however, may of course just delight in the artistic inventiveness of his designs and the technical brilliance of their rendering as prints.

The scientific concept for the presentation was provided by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Müller and Dr. Bertram Kaschek.

In conjunction with the exhibition an international conference entitled Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Religion will take place in Chemnitz and Dresden from 3 to 5 July 2014 (programme see below).

With the kind support of

Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Religion

July 3–5, 2014


Thursday, July 3, 2014 (Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Museum am Theaterplatz)

15:45–16 h

Greeting and Opening
Ingrid Mössinger (Director General Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz)

Words of Welcome
Walter Moens (Representative of the Flemish Government in the Federal Republic of Germany, Berlin)

16–18 h

Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Religion. An Introduction
Dr. Bertram Kaschek (TU Dresden)

What Makes a Bruegel a Bruegel? Reflections on Iconography and Visual Rhetoric
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Müller (TU Dresden)

Friday, July 4, 2014 (Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Museum am Theaterplatz)

9–10 h

Dealing with Religious Diversity. Confession, Labeling and Ambiguity in Bruegel’s Antwerp
Eric Piltz M.A. (TU Dresden)

10:30–12:30 h

The First Temptation of Christ: An Evolving Iconographic Trope in Sixteenth-Century Antwerp
Dr. Jessica Buskirk (TU Dresden)

Beyond Good and Evil. 'St. James and the Magician Hermogenes'. Religiosity in Two Prints by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Annett Gerlach M.A. (Städel Frankfurt/TU Dresden)

15–16 h

Abraham Ortelius and Pieter Bruegel
Dr. Giorgio Mangani (Ancona)

16:30–18:30 h

Pride and Humilitiy. Christian Symbolism in Bruegel’s Representations of Ships
Dr. Thomas Schauerte (Albrecht-Dürer-Haus, Nürnberg)

Falling Idols, Rising Icons. The 'Flight into Egypt' and the Image Debate at the Time of Bruegel
Prof. Dr. Ralph Dekoninck (Université de Louvain)

Saturday, July 5, 2014 (TU Dresden, SLUB, Vortragssaal)

9:30–10:30 h

Virtue or Tyranny? Pieter Bruegel's 'Justitia' and the Myth of the Inquisition
Prof. Dr. Gerd Schwerhoff (TU Dresden)

11–13 h

Pieter Bruegel’s ‘Series of the Seasons’. Divine Order’ and the Missing Painting
Prof. Dr. Reindert Falkenburg (NYU Abu Dhabi)

Double Image, Double Seeing in Pieter Bruegel's Religious Paintings
Prof. Dr. Michel Weemans (EHSS Paris)

14–15 h

Pieter Bruegel's Blue Cloak. On the Disguised Religious Meaning of his 'Netherlandish Proverbs'
Prof. Dr. Anabella Weismann (Universität Oldenburg)

15:30–17:30 h

Art, Life and Religion in Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 'Census at Bethlehem'
Dr. Tine Meganck (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Brüssel)

After Beham. Bruegel's Peasant Kermises as Criticism
Wolf Seiter M.A. (TU Dresden)

17:30–18 h

Concluding Remarks and Discussion

© Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz 2019