Big Fish Eat Little Fish, 1557 - Pieter van der Heyden after Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlandish, ca. 1525–1569)
One of the most haunting of Bruegel's images, Big Fish Eat Little Fish is among the first of the artist's many treatments of proverbs in paintings or prints. The image reveals many small and large fish tumbling out of the mouth of an enormous beached fish. A small, helmeted figure with an oversized knife slices open the big fish's belly, revealing even more marine creatures. Land, air, and water seem to be overrun by an odd assortment of real and fantastic fish, while in the foreground a man, accompanied by his son, gestures toward the scene.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Harvesters, 1565 - Oil on wood
This is one of six panels painted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder for the suburban Antwerp home of the wealthy merchant Niclaes Jongelinck, one of the artist's most enthusiastic patrons — Jongelinck owned no less than sixteen of Bruegel's works.
The vastness of the panorama across the rest of the composition reveals that Bruegel's emphasis is not on the labors that mark the time of the year, but on the atmosphere and transformation of the landscape itself.
The other four are:
and Haymaking (Lobkowicz Collections, Prague).
Through his remarkable sensitivity to nature's workings, Bruegel created a watershed in the history of Western art, suppressing the religious and iconographic associations of earlier depictions of the seasons in favor of an unidealized vision of landscape. The Harvesters probably represented the months of August and September in the context of the series.