Childrens Games  by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Childrens Games

(Kinderspiele)


Pieter Bruegel the Elder

1560   ·    ·  Picture ID: 347735

Mannerism  ·  Famous masterpieces  ·  Everyday scenes and work  ·  

Around 1560, Pieter Bruegel the Elder created the picture that was later named "Children's Games". From the perspective of a bird sitting on a roof or of a human looking out of the window from a higher building, the viewer looks at what's happening in the neighborhood. Here are not only, partly forgotten, games to recognize, also customs and traditions were captured figuratively. The fact that the children wear adult clothing seems intentional.

Children are bathing in the stream behind the village. One uses a pig's bladder as a buoyancy aid. A boy is trying to climb a tree. On the fenced meadow, some children practice headstand and somersaulting and where else horses are leashed, a pair of boys do gymnastics on the horizontal bar. Even an early form of freerunning is to be admired, as a boy tries to run up the wall. Also jumping, tires beat and stilt walk are represented here. A girl balances a broom on her finger and a boy practices juggling his cap. Some guys whip their spinning tops on the flat area behind the house. Games such as pot-fighting, boules, marbles and blind cow delight children. Even hats and Kibbel-Kabbel are still represented, almost forgotten varieties.

Of course, knight and fighting games should not be missing. As some try to push each other off the bench, wrestling and hair-raising, even a lance fight can be seen. Also a kind of combat training is the fly dab, which a boy on the right edge of the picture devotionally exercises. Another tries to shoot the bird. At least here we recognize a motto.

Much of the games are exercises for later life. Sand castles, building bricks and the hobby horse are unforgotten classics. Also "father, mother, child" and the well-stocked dollhouse are well-known. A diligent "shopkeeper" grinds a brick, which she weighs carefully and fills in a bag. It probably got him from the "masons" who started a construction, but now rather risk a cat fight. On the square you can see a christening procession and a wedding with rose petals and a crowned bride. Two children make music: a girl in front of the boy with the hobbyhorse and one behind the red fence with the rattle in his hand.
The girls in the meadow in front of the stream turn around in a circle like dervishes and then crouch down. This is about who can bring the rock into a perfect circle.

In the lower left, two girls play with the ankle bones of goats or sheep. It could be a kind of dice game called Astragal. But these bones were also used for prophecy. Farther back some children have built up such bones for a game; a kind of target throwing that may possibly be understood as a forerunner of bowling. Boys have set up a laboratory in front of the gate. The typical pointed hats of the magicians have made them from rushes. Here you study the wildlife. Whether the middle is practicing soap bubbles, or inflates a frog, is left to the imagination of the beholder. A little girl addresses the "Magicians" because of her gyroscope. In the chamber in the house a girl is rocking, being pushed by a boy. From the window someone looks down through the mask of an adult on the square.

Dealing with the excretions was much freer in the artist's time, as the peeing girl on the wall on the top left proves. At the lower left, a child tries to bring a heap into a pretty shape.

Surely you will find even more motifs in this picture!

Childrens Games by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
fence · workbench · water · grass · barrell · houses · bricks · stilts · trees · village
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27.12.2017
Michael E.
Art Print on Photo paper matte/satin, 81cm x 59cm.


18.06.2019
Monika R.
Art print on Canvas glossy, 66cm x 48cm, stretched on stretcher.


22.04.2021
Norbert Ludwig H.
Art Print on FineArt Photo Matte, 69cm x 50cm.
Mockup 1 Mockup 2 Mockup 3 Mockup 5 Mockup 6 Mockup 7

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Keilrahmen
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Other art prints by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Hunters in the Snow The Harvesters The Tower of Babel (Vienna) Winter Landscape with Skaters and a Bird Trap, 1565 Peasant Wedding Childrens Games The Fall of the Rebel Angels The Tower of Babel (Rotterdam) Peasant Wedding Bauernhochzeit, 1568 oil on panel detail of 68946 Justice, 1559 The Dutch proverbs The Fall of the Rebel Angels, 1562 The Beekeepers, If You Know Where the Treasure is, You Can Rob it, c.1567-68 (pen and brown ink on paper) Land of Cockaigne, 1567 The magpie on the gallows
Other art prints by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Hunters in the Snow The Harvesters The Tower of Babel (Vienna) Winter Landscape with Skaters and a Bird Trap, 1565 Peasant Wedding Childrens Games The Fall of the Rebel Angels The Tower of Babel (Rotterdam) Peasant Wedding Bauernhochzeit, 1568 oil on panel detail of 68946 Justice, 1559 The Dutch proverbs The Fall of the Rebel Angels, 1562 The Beekeepers, If You Know Where the Treasure is, You Can Rob it, c.1567-68 (pen and brown ink on paper) Land of Cockaigne, 1567 The magpie on the gallows
Other motives from the category Famous masterpieces
Two Cut Sunflowers The Origin of the World, 1866 Yellow, Red, Blue The Milkmaid Sunflowers Danaë Wild Poppies, near Argenteuil (The Poppies: nearby Argenteuil), 1873 (detail of 7998) The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog Hunters in the Snow Death and Life, c.1911 Tree of Life (Stoclet Frieze) Almond Blossom Sistine Chapel Ceiling: Creation of Adam, detail of the outstretched arms, 1510 fresco post restoration The Naked Maja The schoolboy
Other motives from the category Famous masterpieces
Two Cut Sunflowers The Origin of the World, 1866 Yellow, Red, Blue The Milkmaid Sunflowers Danaë Wild Poppies, near Argenteuil (The Poppies: nearby Argenteuil), 1873 (detail of 7998) The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog Hunters in the Snow Death and Life, c.1911 Tree of Life (Stoclet Frieze) Almond Blossom Sistine Chapel Ceiling: Creation of Adam, detail of the outstretched arms, 1510 fresco post restoration The Naked Maja The schoolboy
Excerpt from our top sellers
The Ambassadors Pine Trees Vincents Bedroom in Arles Moonrise at the sea Justice The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog Monk by the Sea Fruit Tarts, 1882 The Wild Rabbit poster, 1899 The Origin of the World, 1866 Lesbian lovers, from Manpoku Wago-Jin, 1821, (colour woodblock print) The Great Wave off Kanagawa, c.1830 (woodblock print) Portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) Poster advertising the Hamburg-Amerika Linie Landscape on Saint-Martin Island, 1881.
Excerpt from our top sellers
The Ambassadors Pine Trees Vincents Bedroom in Arles Moonrise at the sea Justice The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog Monk by the Sea Fruit Tarts, 1882 The Wild Rabbit poster, 1899 The Origin of the World, 1866 Lesbian lovers, from Manpoku Wago-Jin, 1821, (colour woodblock print) The Great Wave off Kanagawa, c.1830 (woodblock print) Portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) Poster advertising the Hamburg-Amerika Linie Landscape on Saint-Martin Island, 1881.

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