The Tower of Babel (1563 and c. 1564)
by Pieter BRUEGEL the Elder

Bruegel painted the subject of the Tower of Babel three times. The first version (now lost), very small and painted on ivory, is mentioned in the inventory of Giulio Clovio, the famous miniaturist, whom Bruegel met and collaborated with in Rome in 1553. The second version was a painting on panel, which is dated 1563 and now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and the third was a smaller painting, now in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. The Rotterdam painting is generally thought to date from a year or so after the picture in Vienna. The latter is more traditional in its treatment of the subject in that it includes the visit of King Nimrod to the incomplete Tower, in the lower right-hand corner.

The story of the Tower of Babel (like that of the Suicide of Saul) was interpreted as an example of pride punished, and that is no doubt what Bruegel intended his painting to illustrate.

Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
The Tower of Babel
1563
Oil on oak panel, 114 x 155 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

1200*905
True Color
201 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

1000*1327
True Color
190 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

900*1190
True Color
182 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

826*1050
True Color
193 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

1141*900
True Color
162 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

942*1200
True Color
205 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

731*898
True Color
94 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

726*899
True Color
77 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

731*900
True Color
97 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

733*884
True Color
87 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

726*883
True Color
90 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

731*883
True Color
72 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

734*894
True Color
86 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

730*895
True Color
90 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

724*895
True Color
85 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

730*895
True Color
92 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

727*896
True Color
85 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

733*894
True Color
84 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

730*882
True Color
88 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

729*883
True Color
89 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

733*883
True Color
90 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

729*892
True Color
70 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

730*891
True Color
87 Kb



The Tower of Babel (detail)
1563
Oil on oak panel, width of detail 7 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

733*892
True Color
78 Kb



The "Little" Tower of Babel
c. 1564
Oil on panel, 60 x 75 cm
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

1198*1000
True Color
181 Kb



The "Little" Tower of Babel (detail)
c. 1564
Oil on panel
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

1115*900
True Color
185 Kb




Summary of works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Paintings
Landscapes | Children's games | Proverbs
Village life | Demons and devils | Tower of Babel
Series of Months | Religious themes | St John the Baptist
Peasant life | Large figures | Miscellaneous
Graphics