It is very difficult to paint an image with
so few colors. For this reason, the
painting is also very homogeneous.
We can only see white, a little black and
every shade in between of brown, ochre
and yellow, particularly towards the
They are having fun skating on the frozen
In the mid-sixteenth century, they didn’t
have the sophisticated skates we have
now: they just attached wooden blades
to their shoes.
It looks as though it worked quite well.
Look again and focus on the people
They are all doing something different
They are all different ages and each one has his
or her own character.
Some are chatting while others are hurrying on
One is balancing on one leg and there is a
mother holding her child by the hand.
Some are in pairs and others are alone.
What would you do if you were one of them?
What are the wooden planks on the
right of the picture for?
It’s a bird trap, which would
be a common view for these
As the religious centre of the village,
the church has an important role.
By including it in the painting, Bruegel
evokes another dimension in the
lives of the people that are in the
The church conveys the idea of unity
between them, and perhaps of
WHY IS BRUEGEL CALLED “THE
WAS HE VERY OLD?
This is often what people think, especially
because he is sometimes known as Old
In fact Bruegel had a very short life. He
was only about forty when he died.
But this nickname is to distinguish him
from his sons, who were also painters.
His elder son, Bruegel “the Younger”, was
also called Pieter.
NOW IT IS YOUR TURN
Choose an image of the season you like
the most. It can be a photo, a picture, a
Describe the elements of the picture, the
weather and the colors. Create a funny
story that happens in the image you
This presentation is based on the book
HOW TO TALK TO CHILDREN
Frances Lincoln Limited Publishers