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A Village Festival, with a Theatrical Performance and a Procession in Honour of St Hubert and St Anthony

A Village Festival in Honour of St Hubert and St Anthony, 1632

Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564 - 1638)

Oil on panel

118.1cm x 158.4cm

Brueghel was part of a family of artists who lived in the Southern Netherlands during the 1600s. His artworks, just like this one, often focussed on the everyday life of the lower classes. 'A Village Festival' was so popular that he painted a number of versions, each with slight variations. See if you can spot some of the differences between the Fitz painting and this version at Auckland Art Gallery.

This painting shows a village festival enjoying a festival held in honour of the saints' day for St. Hubert and St. Anthony. To the right of the painting, you can see a procession carrying statues of the saints as they make their way to church. Workers would ordinarily work 6 day weeks with a day off on Sunday. This festival would have given them a much-needed extra day of holiday. Brueghel has contrasted the indulgence and misbehaviour of some of the villagers with moments of happiness and care from others - much like the constitution of our own communities today.

You can see more artwork by Pieter Brueghel the Younger on Art UK

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