Sinister Satire: the Art of Pieter Bruegel

Delve into the amazing world of 16th-century Netherlands with an exploration of the masterful satire of Pieter Bruegel. In an era where art served as a powerful tool for moral instruction, Bruegel emerged as a virtuoso of darkly comedic commentary, using his canvases to dissect the follies and foibles of society with razor-sharp wit. This talk invites guests to unravel the layers of Bruegel’s seemingly whimsical images, revealing the profound depths of his very serious humour. From bustling village scenes to grotesque depictions of human folly, Bruegel’s works offer a window into the social, political, and religious tensions of his time, inviting contemplation on human nature. Through an exploration of Bruegel’s unique blend of satire and symbolism, we gain insight into how his contemporaries would have interpreted these enigmatic compositions, finding both amusement and admonition in their seemingly innocent details. Join us on a journey through the artistry of Pieter Bruegel, where laughter and insight converge in a tapestry of sinister satire.

Please, note:

  • the total duration of the event is 1 hour ( ~ 50mins lecture and 10mins Q&A)
  • the talk doesn’t require any prior training and anyone can join
  • This event will be recorded: the video will be available in 3-5 days after the talk
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Sarah Jaffray
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Sarah Jaffray holds a BA and MA in Art History with an emphasis in 19th/20th century France and a minor in the Italian Renaissance. She holds a second MA in Cultural Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. Sarah was a lecturer for several colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area before relocating to London in 2012. She has worked in curatorial roles at the British Museum and Wellcome Collection. Sarah is currently a lecturer at the University of Arts London and Coordinator for City Lit’s Art History programme. Her art historical practice focuses on experimental narratives, artistic process, art pedagogy, politics and philosophy. Sarah’s current research is focused on translation and empathy.

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