Suicide of Saul

1562, Artist: Pieter Bruegel d. Ä.



Suicide of Saul

This biblical story describes the battle between Israelites and Philistines on Mount Gilboa which ends in the defeat and suicide of King Saul (to the left in the picture). There are numerous inter-pretations: punished pride, the foolishness and perversity of the world, human delusion, vanity; the main subject is the landscape, while the story is of secondary importance; humanity is subject to the inevitable course of nature.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Saal X

Object data

Object Name







Pieter Bruegel d. Ä. (um 1525/30 Breugel oder Antwerpen? - 1569 Brüssel) - GND


oak wood


Overall: 34,7 cm × 55,6 cm × 0,5 cm
Framed: 47,5 cm × 69 cm × 5,5 cm


Inscribed at the lower left edge of the picture between two pieces of rock: SAVL. XXXI CAPIT.; and: BRVEGEL. M.CCCCC.LXII

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Inv. No.

Gemäldegalerie, 1011


Coll. P. P. Rubens (estate inventory 1640, no. 212?); documented in the gallery 1783

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