The Return of the Herd (Autumn)

1565, Artist: Pieter Bruegel d. Ä.



The Return of the Herd (Autumn)

Bruegel introduced to the art of painting the autumn motif of the returning herd, a subject untypical for the Netherlands. To achieve this, he was able to draw on impressions gained during his travels through Switzerland. Driving the cattle down from the Alpine pastures, a key event in every peasant’s year, is made into the title scene. Yet the main subject is the landscape which the artist has raised to the sublime in its tonal colouring and mood.

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: 117 cm × 159,7 cm × 3 cm
Framed: 135 cm × 178,5 cm × 8 cm


Traces of a signature in the lower left corner of the image (BRVEGE[L])

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Inv. No.

Gemäldegalerie, 1018


Nicolaas Jongelinck; 1594 gift of the city of Antwerp to Archduke Ernst; 1595 estate of Archduke Ernst; Rudolf II; Coll. Leopold Wilhelm

Kunst & Patenschaft

This object is still without a Art Patron. Accept the patronage and make sure that this cultural treasure is preserved for future generations.
Your donation is a direct and sustainable contribution to the scientific documentation, research, restoration, and presentation of the artworks of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.

Become an art patron