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Atomium joins Bruegel commemorations with new show

22:09 18/09/2019

The Atomium is joining the commemorations for the 450th anniversary of the death of Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder, with a new show opening this weekend entitled Bruegel: A Poetic Experience, an Innovative World and Mind.

The iconic building is not suited for displaying original works of art so the show’s producer Tempora has taken over the two levels of one sphere to concentrate on a limited number of exquisitely reproduced paintings.

The lower level is dedicated to Bruegel’s series The Six Seasons (at that time, the year was divided into winter, early spring, spring, early summer, summer and autumn). The paintings were commissioned by a rich Antwerp businessman to decorate one room in his house creating what was a fully immersive experience.

The show uses these artworks to demonstrate how Bruegel innovated in painting. First there was his composition - by framing the view with trees he creates a plunging view that pulls the viewer in. Then there was his rhythm - the way he breaks up the image in successive parts - his details, with so much going on that the paintings are filled with different stories, and his humour, with a lot of the little scenes reflecting his view of the world.

Exhibition director Arnaud Bozzini said: “We want to explore the details, each painting is a lot of stories, so with this exhibition we want to bring people into Bruegel’s paintings to understand what is so special in his art.”

The upper level is filled with super-sized reproductions as well as many blowups of the details of three paintings to further explore the man and his ideas. It also features the little-known fact that, in his lifetime, Bruegel was more famous for his drawings, etchings and prints. The recent invention of printing enabled his art to be seen throughout Europe.

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition, there will be a Bruegellian  feast and village around the foot of the Atomium on Saturday starting at 14.00.

Written by Richard Harris