LONDON - Neither Pieter Bruegel the Elder nor his son Pieter Brueghel the Younger could ever be said to have shied away from presenting the human realities of rural life. In The Peasants’ Brawl a fight has broken out between two villagers armed with a pitchfork and a flail, while four others, including two brave women, attempt to intervene, with painful results.
The painting is an interesting assimilation of the work of several members of the Bruegel family. Although no drawing or painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder of this subject has survived, the design of The Peasants' Brawl was in all probability his invention. The relationship between the various existing versions of this composition is quite complex, and much argument remains as to what extent Pieter Brueghel the Younger may have worked with his brother or his nephew.