Pieter Bruegel, Flemish, born almost 500 years ago, was a miracle of a painter who gave us images we can still understand and delight in without a thick book or an expert.
Most of his pictures have their origin in the Christian Bible, but if you never saw a Bible in your life you would see and feel the humanity of what is staring you in the eye.
And you would see the children, somewhere in the frame.
You need to look, sometimes, for the children. But they are almost always there, busy, preoccupied, stocky/stubby, lovely.
This is a detail of the Census of Bethlehem
Wherever you find them, these, Bruegel’s children are identifiable as today’s children, even if so much around them is bizarre.
Above, The Hunters in the Snow also known as The Return of the Hunters, is a 1565 oil-on-wood painting.
It is a quiet cold wonder in the palace of great art–thanks in part to those small boys and girls.