From a bird’s eye perspective – this was the only way Bruegel could render visible the impressive crowd of figures – we look on to a cast square. Over 230 children are occupied with playing 83 different games. For those wishing to decipher all the games, the minuteness of the scenes necessitates slow and selective study – a pleasurable pastime indeed. Bruegel’s composition is without precedent or parallel in the fine arts and can be seen as a painted “encyclopaedia” – albeit without any moralising undertones.
Overall: 116,4 cm × 160,3 cm × 1,2 cm
Framed: 138 cm × 182 cm × 8 cm
Inscribed at the bottom right of the bar: BRVEGEL 1560
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
1594 acquired by Archduke Ernst in Brussels.
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