It happens as 2019 sees the 450th anniversary of the death of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525/30 – 1569). On the occasion of this anniversary, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien is dedicating the world’s first major monographic exhibition to this most important Dutch painter of the 16th century. It is the first time that works produced by Bruegel in different media – paintings, drawings and prints – have been united in a single exhibition. Almost a third of the master’s extant paintings are in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The sensational number of loaned works by Bruegel in other media is the result of a close collaboration between scholars, experts and museums from all over the world. The Bruegel exhibition runs from October 2, 2018 until January 13, 2019.

Although Pieter Bruegel the Elder has long been a focus of interest and research, there was still much we did not know about his technique and his innovative handling. The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna decided to focus on this aspect, carefully analysing the twelve panel paintings in its collection.

Using state-of-the-art imaging technologies special photographs in HD were produced and can be accessed through the interactive website

The availability of high-quality documentation of the full paintings, rather than of selected details, will make this web application an unrivalled research resource for Bruegel studies. It allows specialists and art lovers alike to study these works in extreme detail, and to do so in different modalitites: infrared, reflectography, marcophotography in infrared and visible light, and X-radiography. All panels were documented at very high resolutions, translating to 1250 px/inch for macrophotography. 3D mapping was used in order to carefully measure the paintings and render them in 3D.