Gloomy Day (1565)

Bruegel the Elder, Pieter (c.1525-1569)

Gloomy Day (Early Spring / February-March)
Oil on oak panel, 118 x 163 cm
Kunsthistorisches MuseumVienna

The picture represents late winter or early spring with such seasonal activities as collecting wood and cutting willow switches. Carnival time is signified by the child with the paper crown, the lantern, the waffles and the masquerade with the pot crammed on the head and the broom stuck with candles, similar to how they appear in Bruegel’s “The Fight between Carnival and Lent” (Inv.-Nr. GG 1016). With the awakening of nature in the New Year (which at the time began on March 1st in the Netherlands) the picture is to be seen as the first in the whole cycle. (KHM)