Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c1525-1530 – 1569) was a Flemish painter, who is known for his landscapes and peasant scenes (also called Bruegelian scenes). He is sometimes referred to as the “Peasant Bruegel” to distinguish him from other members of the Bruegel dynasty, such as his son Pieter Brueghel the Younger.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder was born in the Flemish town of Breda, in or around 1525. His exact date of birth is unknown, but it is believed that he was baptized on 6 November 1525. He was the oldest son of Pieter Brueghel the Elder and his second wife, Mayken Coecke van Aelst. He had four brothers and three sisters.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder was a painter and tapestry designer. He was trained as a painter by Pieter Coecke van Aelst, his father’s second wife’s uncle. Pieter Coecke van Aelst was also the teacher of many other famous Flemish painters, including Pieter Aertsen and Jan Steen.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s first wife was Maria Coecke van Aelst, his cousin and daughter of his teacher Pieter Coecke van Aelst. They were married in 1551. The couple had four children: Pieter, Jan, Anna and Elisabeth.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s second wife was Mayken Verhulst. They were married in 1563 and had two children: Pieter the Younger and Philips.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder died in Brussels on 9 September 1569, aged 44. His wife Mayken outlived him by four years.