Monday, April 15, 2013

Northern European Renaissance (pt. 12)

Around the same time as the Peasant Wedding, Bruegel also painted an expressly religious painting called the Parable of the Blind, an allegorical painting showing five blind beggars walking in a line toward a pit, where the sixth beggar has already fallen.
The painting alludes to the biblical parable by using symbolism.  The pathway represents the road to eternal suffering, at the end of which lies a ditch (Hell).  The blind follow their blind guide and are doomed to make the same error when he falls into the pit.  A church is seen in the distance, the spire framed by two trees, but the blind have gone their own way.  The second man even wears a cross necklace, but he will fall too (not even the pious can save themselves).
Bruegel painted each of the blind men accurately for a more lifelike appearance—each of their faces communicates a different emotion, from confusion to fear.  Bruegel also made a study of vision impairments before painting this, and you'll notice that each man in the Parable of the Blind has a specific form of blindness.  He wanted to paint it as accurately and realistically as possible.

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