Ruben’s The Consequences of War

Ruben’s The Consequences of War, (or sometimes The Horrors of War) is an impressive painting. The work was painted in response to the Thirty Years’ War and is heavily allegorical. Using mythological iconography to convey an eloquent warning, Rubens gives us a painting of disturbing beauty. The message of ‘The Consequences of War’ is as […]

Bruegel’s Massacre of the Innocents

Bruegel’s Massacre of the Innocents recounts a Biblical narrative that Bruegel links to current events, thus condemning the rule of Philips II and accusing him of similar abuses of power.  This painting is a powerful political work that was deemed to dangerous to remain in it’s original form, and so multiple scenes were painted over […]

Pieter Bruegel’s The Census at Bethlehem

Pieter Bruegel’s Census at Bethlehem, shifts the Biblical story into the political and physical world of 16th century Netherlands. One of the first snow landscapes painted in Europe, the Census at Bethlehem is at once a beautifully composed genre painting and a biting social commentary. In many ways it is a painting of a broken […]

Van Eyck’s Annunciation, The Hidden Meanings.

Jan Van Eyck’s Annunciation, is a work that shimmers with a luminous clarity, infusing spiritual meaning into every small detail. Van Eyck is true to the Flemish tradition of hiding symbols in the everyday, and using complicated iconography. In particular, Van Eyck explores the connections between the Old and New Testament of the Bible, the […]