Pieter Bruegel, the Elder: Kermesse at Hoboken

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525–1569)
Kermis at Hoboken
Pen and brown ink, contours incised for transfer
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Lee Bequest, 1947

Bruegel created this detailed drawing as a design for an engraving. Celebrated for his depictions of peasant life, Bruegel shows revelers at a festival in the Flemish village of Hoboken. At this kermis or church festival of the Longbowmen, the secular and religious coexist. Villagers drink, dance, partake in an archery contest, attend a rhetorician performance, and unashamedly relieve themselves while a religious procession carries a sacred statue aloft.