Regurgitating Nature: On a Celebrated Anecdote by Karel van Mander about Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Series/Report no.Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art;vol. 8, n° 1 (hiver 2016)
The curious anecdote in Karel van Mander’s biography of Bruegel, where the artist is said to have swallowed all the mountains and rocks during his crossing of the Alps and spat them out again onto canvas and panels upon returning home, has been quoted by almost every Bruegel scholar. Yet it has never been given a full explanation. In this study, it is proposed that the passage, echoing on one level Bruegel’s frequent depiction of overindulging peasants, disguises a highly cultivated reference to the theory of imitation as a digestive process, or innutrition theory, which was widely used by humanist writers of the time to champion vernacular expression.
RIBOUILLAULT, Denis (2016). « Regurgitating Nature: On a Celebrated Anecdote by Karel van Mander about Pieter Bruegel the Elder », Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art, vol. 8, n° 1, DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2016.8.1.4.