1. Magazine
  2. Art & Design
  • 1
  • 2
Prev Next
Fire & Fantasy

Fire & Fantasy

September 8, 2017

Heavy Music Artwork 6th installation: Fire & Fantasy is centred around the concept of fantasy, imagination and escapism. No other...

Read more
Avant-Garde

Avant-Garde

May 26, 2017

Heavy Music Artwork launches world’s first and only metal and rock art magazine - Issue 5 pre-sell: Avant-GardeFeaturing: Ulver, Sun O)))...

Read more
Legacy

Legacy

March 10, 2017

The aging process affects pretty much everything in one way or another; but it may also lead to things being...

Read more
Human

Human

January 20, 2017

The third issue of Heavy Music Artwork is an introspective outlook on music and art. Rock and metal have a...

Read more
Folklore

Folklore

October 20, 2016

The second installment of Heavy Music Artwork is dedicated to Folk Art. Often referred to as ‘folklore’, it depicts the...

Read more
Dark Nouveau

Dark Nouveau

July 20, 2016

The first issue is finally out and we feel inspired, happy and accomplished that we; the metal community; have a...

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
Prev Next
Sam Shearon

Sam Shearon

September 19, 2017

Sam Shearon talks with Heavy Music Artwork Sam Shearon Aka ‘Mister-Sam’...

Read more
Maciej Kamuda

Maciej Kamuda

July 5, 2017

The art of being yourself Most of all I'm self-taught. I...

Read more
Cosimo Miorelli

Cosimo Miorelli

July 1, 2017

Man at work Like most people, I always drew as a...

Read more
Rainer Kalwitz

Rainer Kalwitz

June 28, 2017

Phantastic Realism I had studied graphic arts at the university of...

Read more
Lukasz Wodynski

Lukasz Wodynski

June 20, 2017

Living beings I graduated The School Of Fine Arts in my...

Read more
Max Martelli

Max Martelli

June 14, 2017

Passion for Science Fiction Ever since I was young I was...

Read more
Christian Sloan Hall

Christian Sloan Hall

June 8, 2017

The power of perseverance I was born in Santa Monica, California...

Read more
Mike D from Killswitch Engage

Mike D from Killswitch Engage

May 31, 2017

DarkIcon studio profile All of Killswitch Engage's album artwork and tour...

Read more

Columns

  • 1
  • 2
Prev Next
Top 10 Albums that changed my life by Drew Zaragoza of Sinicle

Top 10 Albums that changed my life by Drew Zaragoza of Sinicle

August 25, 2017

Drew Zaragoza is the front man for LA Power Trio Sinicle. He has led the band for over a decade. Los Angeles power trio Sinicle combine the groove of Heavy...

Top 10 Bands that inspired my music by Drew Rizzo of Midnite Hellion

Top 10 Bands that inspired my music by Drew Rizzo of Midnite Hellion

August 22, 2017

Drew Rizzo is the drummer and founder of Trenton, NJ’s own MIDNITE HELLION, a US Heavy Metal band formed in 2011.  He eats, breathes, and sleeps Heavy Metal, and here’s...

Metastazis & Au Dessus: End of Chapter (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre)

Metastazis & Au Dessus: End of Chapter (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre)

July 21, 2017

There were no specific directions, the band gave me total freedom to provide my interpretation of the title. I interpreted 'End of a chapter' as plain death. And I wanted...

Robert Schober aka Roboshobo & Ghost: Cirice (Universal)

Robert Schober aka Roboshobo & Ghost: Cirice (Universal)

July 14, 2017

‘Cirice’ concept was inspirited by Brian De Palma film ‘Carrie’. The idea originated with Papa himself. He wanted to set the video in a school and do a talent show...

Napalm Death & Frode Sylthe: Apex Predator, Easy Meat (Century Media)

Napalm Death & Frode Sylthe: Apex Predator, Easy Meat (Century Media)

July 7, 2017

The band have been very much involved in the process of making this album artwork. And they tend to have a lot of ideas in which direction it all should...

Nestor Avalos & Bloodbath: Grand Morbid Funeral (Peaceville Records)

Nestor Avalos & Bloodbath: Grand Morbid Funeral (Peaceville Records)

June 30, 2017

We started from the concept of the band and the name of the album 'Grand Morbid Funeral'. This was the determinant factor for the whole process 'a place of plague...

Sikth & Dan Mumford: Opacities (Peaceville Records)

Sikth & Dan Mumford: Opacities (Peaceville Records)

June 23, 2017

I have known most of the guys in SikTh for quite a long time, I grew up in Watford, the same town that SikTh came from, and was playing in...

Obituary & Andreas Marschall: Inked in Blood (Relapse Records)

Obituary & Andreas Marschall: Inked in Blood (Relapse Records)

June 16, 2017

The idea for ‘Inked in Blood’ was developed by the Tardy brothers and me, based on an early suggestion sketch, when the band decided to move visually in a different...

Michael Berberian from E-Kunst

Michael Berberian from E-Kunst

June 9, 2017

The art of E-Kunst Mostly known as the founder of the record label Season of Mist, Michael S. Berberian has been using metal festival for years as an alibi to visit...

Camden Rocks Festival

Camden Rocks Festival

May 12, 2017

Camden Rocks Festival, established in 2009, is an exclusive festival held in London’s notorious Camden Town bringing you the best selection of rock, indie, metal and alternative music. Camden has...

Pieter Bruegel

Covers

The last of this year’s summer pictures is The Harvesters, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, one of a series of depictions of the months of the year which the artist painted for the Antwerp merchant Nicolaes Jongelinck in 1565. Of the five surviving pictures from that series, three are to be found in the breathtaking room of Bruegel’s work in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, while one more is in the National Gallery at Prague. The picture reproduced on this page is the only one in America. It can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which purchased the work in romantically unusual circumstances in 1917.

Having disappeared from the Viennese imperial art collection, probably during the Napoleonic wars, the painting had been presumed lost until it turned up in New York in that year, in the possession of a tubercular young man from Belgium named Paul Jean Cels. Anxious to join his fiance in Australia, and not realising that he had in his possession a lost treasure of Northern European Renaissance painting, he offered the picture for a fraction of its true value to Bryson Burroughs, the Metropolitan Museum’s Curator of Paintings. Burroughs purchased the grubby, time-smoked panel, more in a spirit of curiosity than optimism, while Cels continued to Australia, where he died shortly afterwards, too soon even to take delivery of the small remittance sent on by the museum. When Burroughs had the picture cleaned, he discovered not only all the qualities of an autograph Bruegel but also the painter’s signature, inscribed near the bottom of the work in capital letters. The dream of finding more survivors from the series persists – the plot of Michael Frayn’s recent comic novel Headlong, for example, turns on the discovery and accidental incineration of another long-lost depiction of the months by Bruegel – but thus far no more have actually emerged.

The Harvesters shows the month of August. The overhwelming impression conveyed by the picture is one of stifling, oppressive heat. In the foreground of a landscape of panoramic extent, a group of peasants are shown harvesting the wheat that earlier in the year they have ploughed, planted and cultivated. Men are busy with their scythes, cutting the wheat into sheaves, while their female companions go about the backbreaking work of gathering and binding it into neat upright stooks, arranged aslant against one another to prevent a sudden rainfall spoiling the crop. At the centre of the picture, a group of labourers are resting from their toil. They shelter in the shade of a pear tree from the glare of the noonday sun, caught and reflected by the bright yellow wheatfields that surround them. Several of the women wear broad-brimmed hats, as they eat their gruel and munch at their coarse brown bread – cut with some effort from the loaves in the basket beside them, to judge by the straining arms of the peasant reaching down to slice another hunk.

Bruegel’s peasants are caught up in an implacable cycle of life, dictated by the need to work, eat and rest, so that they can work again. The weary, stooped figure of a man emerging from an avenue cut through the tall wheat at the left centre of the painting, pitchers of water hanging heavily from his tired arms. Only one among their number seems genuinely at rest, the fat-bellied nut-brown worker in a white shirt and britches unlaced at the codpiece, who sprawls at the base of the pear tree with his eyes closed and his mouth helplessly open. A pitcher of wine, half-concealed in the wheat nearby, is about to be discovered by one of the more industrious peasants wielding his scythe. The booze-felled bumpkin can dream for now but will be woken soon enough, to a crashing headache. Meanwhile, in the background of the scene, Bruegel shows the unfolding of more carefree lives. In the far distance a group of people are cooling themselves in a pool of water. The seated figure of a monk can be discerned, in grey habit and cowl. Visible too are the naked buttocks of a lone swimmer, rendered with comical abbreviation as two dabs of pink paint.

Bruegel’s paintings of the months were pictures of the poor for the contemplation of the rich. Nicolaes Jongelink, who commissioned and paid for them, is known to have displayed them as a continuous frieze running around the walls of one of the rooms of his suburban mansion, Ter Beke. Given that the series’ overall theme is the production and consumption of food it seems reasonable to assume that they decorated Jongelink’s dining room. They were presumably intended to provide an appropriate background for those lucky enough to be invited to dine with this merchant for the Antwerp mint – colleagues and business associates, as well as members of the city’s intellectual elite. The Italian humanist Leonbattista Alberti had written a century earlier about the decoration appropriate to a suburban villa, which “combines the dignity of a city house with the delight of a villa”. In lines that read almost like a recipe for Bruegel’s series of the monnths, he recommended that paintings showing “the life of the simple farmer … will be particularly suitable, being the most lighthearted of all. We are particularly delighted when we see paintings of pleasant landscapes or harbours, scenes of fishing, hunting, bathing, or country sports, and flowery and leafy views.”

Jongelink’s guests may also have diverted themselves by finding the edification of a good old-fashioned biblical moral in pictures such as Bruegel’s Harvesters. It is not difficult to imagine how his Christian humanist friends might have interpreted the painter’s contrast between a slumbering drunk and industrious reapers. “A son who gathers in summer is prudent,” as Proverbs 10:5 has it, “but a son who sleeps in harvest brings shame.” But above all, I suspect, Bruegel’s humane but thoroughly unsentimentalised painting would have reminded those who did not have to work with their hands, circa 1565, of just how very fortunate they were.

From: The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel

Date: 29-08-2004 
Owning Institution: The Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Publication: Sunday Telegraph “In The Picture” 
Subject: Renaissance

AndrewGrahamDixon.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial - Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Newsletter