The exhibition Prints in the Age of Bruegel, presented jointly by BOZAR and the Royal Library of Belgium, paints a picture of print production in the Southern Netherlands in the age of Bruegel. The famous painter’s own production is only the tip of the iceberg: in the shadow of this giant there are many gems of printmaking to be discovered. The medium was both varied and flexible, used for several forms of visual communication ranging from newsprints to political propaganda. Far from everything that rolled off the presses was intended to be art, although talented painters, sculptors and architects almost always guaranteed a good design. The arrival and flourishing of the art of printmaking in the age of Bruegel is therefore not just an artistic success story. Brilliant craftsmanship and a bold spirit of enterprise also played a major role.
Image: Jan and Lucas Van Doetecum after (Hieronymus Bosch?), The Siege of the Elephant, Engraving, ca. 1555-1560