The Fight Between Carnival and Lent by Pieter Bruegel the Elder - with Johnathan Healy

The Fight Between Carnival and Lent is an oil-on-panel work painted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1559. This painting depicts a common festival of the period, as celebrated in the Southern Netherlands. It presents the contrast between two sides of contemporary life, as can be seen by the appearance of the inn on the left side - for enjoyment, and the church on the right side - for religious observance.

The busy scene depicts well-behaved children near the church and a beer drinking scene near the inn. At the centre is a well, showing the coming together of different parts of the community, and other scenes show a fish stall and two competing floats.

Jonathan Healey is Associate Professor in Social History
at Kellogg College at University of Oxford.


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Producer: Dan Morelle

Art Detective

Art is the truest expression of the workings of the mind, free from learnt language. More than that, it is the visual expression of culture, politics, society, religion, emotion, zeitgeist, channelled through the brush, chisel, or hands of creative individuals. Understanding art allows us to understand history: to pin it with images, and pepper it with the faces, colours, drama and expression of its time. This series is designed to give bite-sized insights into the world of Art History, bringing one image to life across 20 minutes through discussion with experts. History is never far from view, so each image will be expanded to sit within the cultural and historical context that produced it. Presented by Janina Ramirez “717090”

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