Image: Hieronymus Cock, Netherlandish, c.1510–1570, after Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Netherlandish, 1529–1569. Prudence (Prudentia) from the series The Seven Virtues, 1559 (detail). Engraving, 8 7/8 x 11 5/8 in (22.5 x 29.5 cm). Museum Purchase with Curriculum Support Funds, 1982.7.
Just as modern streaming services give us unprecedented freedom to watch television series in our own order, time, and place, print series allowed viewers in the Renaissance Netherlands to enjoy the same sets of images as their peers in more personalized and accessible ways. The Print Series in Bruegel’s Netherlands: Dutch and Flemish Works from the Permanent Collection places sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Netherlandish prints in their original context of series to explore the practices of looking at a succession of images. Many of these series illustrate cosmological, religious, and social ideas, challenging Pieter Bruegel the Elder and other print designers to represent these themes in a manner that appealed to both personalized and general tastes. This exhibition also allows the visitor to consider the ways in which abstract ideas were illustrated in more recognizable contexts.
The Fralin Museum of Art’s programming is made possible through generous support from The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation. We also wish to thank our in-kind donors: WTJU 91.1 FM and Ivy Publications LLC’s Charlottesville Welcome Book.