The Battle Between Carnival and Lent is a masterpiece by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525/30-1569). Dating from 1559, the world-famous painting is rich in remarkable stories and characters.
This book zooms in on the many everyday objects portrayed by Bruegel in the painting. These objects have been meticulously examined and interpreted through a contemporary gaze. Just as Bruegel's paintings served in the sixteenth century as conversation pieces among guests at dinner, so too this book presents a three-way discussion about The Battle Between Carnival and Lent. Art history (Katrien Lichtert), historic design (Alexandra van Dongen and Lucinda Timmermans) and literature (Abdelkader Benali) engage in dialogue with one another. The publication also includes an introduction by Bruegel expert Manfred Sellink and a study of the painting by curator Sabine Pénot of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Together, the authors shed light on the humour, symbolism, visual language and concealed meanings carried by the household objects in the painting, from a humble begging bowl to a waffle iron.
This publication in celebration of the 450th anniversary of Bruegel's death was made possible thanks to a unique collaboration between leading museums. It appears on the occasion of the major exhibitions Pieter Bruegel the Elder in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and The World of Bruegel in the Bokrijk Open-Air Museum in Genk, in collaboration with Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Abdelkader Benali, Alexandra Van Dongen, Katrien Lichtert, Lucinda Timmermans, Sabine Pénot