Pieter Bruegel, the Elder: Kermesse at Hoboken

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pen and ink drawing of busy town with dozens of figures performing daily tasks

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.


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