Harvest - Peter Brueghel the Elder. 116.5x159.5
Five paintings of Brueghel are known dedicated to the seasons, and one of them is the Harvest located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She, like the others, was commissioned by the long-term patron of the artist Niklas Jongelink for his house near Antwerp.
This series reflects the medieval tradition of decorating calendars with images of human activities related to a particular month of the year. HarvestAugust is believed to correspond. At the same time, this is a purely Renaissance work, it shows the influence of Italian Renaissance painting, the wealth of which Bruegel could see during his travels. However, all that he perceived was greatly reworked, and his own, Bruegelian, perception of the world came to the fore. Take, for example, that none of his contemporaries created such landscapes and panoramic paintings of peasant labor.
The freely spread landscape - a golden sea of wheat, a village and yellow fields in the distance - goes into a foggy haze, towards a distant lake. This space is inhabited by people who reap, knit sheaves, carry a huge cart of wheat, eat and sleep under a tree, and there, in the village, they are also engaged in household affairs. It is not known where Bruegel was born, but he often visited the countryside and knew peasant life well. She was for him a constant source of inspiration, for which he received the nickname "Muzhitsky". Able to mercilessly expose the evil aspects of human nature, Brueghel portrayed the peasants with sympathy and admiration for their labor and rest.
Here, as in other works of the cycle, the balance of nature and man, which is achieved only by a decent life, is emphasized. To the conclusion about what kind of agreement between man and nature - read God - the world holds, Brueghel unobtrusively brings his picture.