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.
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])
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
Nicolaas Jongelinck; 1594 gift of the city of Antwerp to Archduke Ernst; 1595 estate of Archduke Ernst; Rudolf II; Coll. Leopold Wilhelm
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