Parable of the Sower
ca. 1525-1569, Flemish
Parable of the Sower, 1557
Oil on panel, 29 x 40-1/2 in.
This painting of the parable of the sower from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke is among the earliest signed paintings by Bruegel, one of the geniuses of Northern European painting.
A lone peasant in the left foreground scatters seeds on an upland pasture. The seeds he has already sown have multiplied in the fields below him to the right and in the middle distance. Across the river, a small crowd gathers to hear Jesus preaching.
Bruegel left Antwerp in 1553 to study in Italy, and on his return made drawings of the Alps, which influenced the detail and aerial perspective of the landscape in this painting.