As Above, So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel

As Above So Below A Novel of Peter Bruegel Peter Bruegel s paintings a peasant wedding in a barn hunters in the snow a rollicking street festival and many others have long defined our idea of everyday life in sixteenth century Europe They a

  • Title: As Above, So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel
  • Author: Rudy Rucker
  • ISBN: 9780765304049
  • Page: 472
  • Format: Paperback
  • Peter Bruegel s paintings a peasant wedding in a barn, hunters in the snow, a rollicking street festival, and many others have long defined our idea of everyday life in sixteenth century Europe They are classic icons of a time and place in much the same way as Norman Rockwell s depictions of twentieth century America We know relatively little about Bruegel, but aftePeter Bruegel s paintings a peasant wedding in a barn, hunters in the snow, a rollicking street festival, and many others have long defined our idea of everyday life in sixteenth century Europe They are classic icons of a time and place in much the same way as Norman Rockwell s depictions of twentieth century America We know relatively little about Bruegel, but after years of research, novelist Rudy Rucker has built upon the what is known and has created for us the life and world of a true master who never got old In sixteen chapters, each headed by a reproduction of one of the famous works, Rucker brings Bruegel s painter s progress and his colorful world to vibrant life, doing for Bruegel what the best selling Girl with a Pearl Earring did for Vermeer We follow the artist from the winding streets of Antwerp and Brussels to the glowing skies and decaying monuments of Rome and back He and his friends, the cartographer Ortelius and Williblad Cheroo, an American Indian, are as vivid on the page as the multifarious denizens of Bruegel s unforgettable canvases.Here is a world of conflict, change, and discovery, a world where Carnival battles Lent every day, preserved for us in paint by the engaging genius you will meet in the pages of As Above So Below.

    One thought on “As Above, So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel”

    1. It seems so tough to portray real-life artists in historical fictions So often, you get the sense that the portrayer hasn't the faculty to grasp the significance of the portrayed. So often the need is felt to "explain" how a work came to be. For example, in Shakespeare in Love, we saw things in Shakespeare's environment which supposedly fed directly into his plays. There's more to art than the simple movement from observations on life to portrayal of life, whether with words or with brush. There [...]

    2. I highly recommend this book. It is the fictional imagining of the life of Peter Bruegel. The author combined the few known facts about Bruegel's life with the history and the culture of the Netherlands in the 1500s to craft a realistic and intriguing novel. Each chapter has a Bruegel painting featured at the beginning and vividly describes the events in the artist's life and times that shaped the painting. My only criticism of the book is that I wish the reproductions of Bruegel's paintings wer [...]

    3. I had never heard of Rucker before I picked up this book; he has written non-fiction and science fiction, but I believe this is his first novel. Little is known of Peter Bruegel’s life, but Rucker has taken what facts there are and written an enjoyable account of life in the Low Countries in the 16th century, when ruled by Spain and the Spanish inquisition against the Calvinists was becoming more and more feared and widespread. Rucker’s notes for this book can be found on his web site RudyRu [...]

    4. As Above, So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel, by Rudy Rucker (2002, 318 pages). “In sixteen chapters, each headed by one of the artist’s famous works, Rucker brings Bruegel’s painters progress and his colorful world to vibrant life, doing for Bruegel what the bestselling Girl With A Pearl Earring did for Vermeer. We follow the artist from the winding streets of Antwerp and Brussels to the glowing skies and decaying monuments of Rome” ( book description).

    5. AS ABOVE, SO BELOW A Novel of Peter Bruegel by Rudy RuckerIf you have read Girl with a Pearl Earring and enjoyed the references to Vermeer’s paintings, you will likely enjoy reading Rudy Rucker’s imagined tale of artist Peter Bruegel’s progress with his many paintings. The story ends before his two sons, Little Peter and Jan, took up the brush.Each of Rucker’s chapters is headed with the title and photograph of a Bruegel painting. The journey begins in the French-Italian Alps and Rome, b [...]

    6. Very fascinating fictional account of Peter Bruegel's life. Several famous paintings by the master were cleverly employed to propel the plot. However, the stories got somewhat way too far-fetched. The author, obviously no artist, gave a pedestrian account of how inspirations and commissions came to Bruegel and the depictions of process of creations were less than inspired. The most serious flaw was the repetitive expositions (historical information best feed in through footnotes here) and the st [...]

    7. I have kind of mixed feelings about this book. I enjoy art historical fiction a lot, since I studied art history, and I did enjoy the book. The main problem I had was that, while a good story, at times it seemed to lack a forward drive. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but I was rarely dying to pick the book back up and see what happened next. Only a few spots really kept me interested in coming back for more. I enjoyed the story, but I could see how for people with less interest in art//his [...]

    8. it is true that the author didn't have much information to go on. when writing about the paintings he did a good job and i had a sense of the time period and how the art displayed that. but the dialogue between the character is so clumsy it took away from what should have been an enjoyable read. A really annoying thing followed after he used a Flemish ( ? ) term then in the next sentence defined or translated it. other authors do this much more smoothly by incorporating that info into a part of [...]

    9. The pictures included at the beginning of each chapter are hard to see, but the internet provides copies that illuminate the story, which is well told. Apparently the author illuminated the story by studying the pictures. The depiction of the times and the politics of the day was woven nicely with the story of the artist.The book has introduced me to an artist I had never heard of, and who is worth looking at.

    10. One of the most insightful bios of an artist I've ever come across. Reconstructing the life of Bruegel from little more than his paintings and a lot of historical research into the period. Rucker creates chapters of an artist's life wherein the particular painting is conceived and created. The faces of the people in his works can be matched with characters in this fictional recreation. A truly wonderful book.

    11. It was very interesting to read about the source of paints in the 16th century and how they were produced. I particularly enjoyed learning how Breugel planned his paintings and their hidden meanings, epecially those paintings I've seen and like. I would have given the book 5 stars if the factual information of Breugel's life had been footnoted or highlighted in some way from the fictional part of the story. Beyond being entertained (I was!), I'd like to really know.

    12. The format for this novel about the artist Peter Bruegel is interesting - the first page of each chapter is a painting by Bruegel and the chapter relates to the painting in some way. I enjoyed the descriptions of 16th century Flemish culture and historical events and what it took to be an artist in that time period. The weakness in the book is the dialogue and the social interactions of the characters which frequently seem strained or unrealistic.

    13. An enjoyable bringing-to-life of Bruegel through his paintings. A little frustrating to stare at small b&w pictures at the beginning of each chapter, given the generally large size of Bruegel's paintings, so it might be a good idea to read this book with the internet handy. I found this much more effective on my sense of learning and imagination than a pure art history book would have been.

    14. Very interesting subject matter (which I knew almost nothing about), and excellent presentation of the historical period. While I liked the book overall, I just did not care very much about any of the characters. I haven't been able to put my finger on why, but they just did not "live" in my mind. Still, an informative read that fans of historical fiction or art may enjoy.

    15. Intriguing look into the life of one of survivors of the middle ages. Painting secular themesback When that was a risk as most artists earned their daily bread by creating for the church. Little is known of Peter Bruegel but this fictonal dramatization brings him to life with great skill.

    16. Quite an interesting book on the life of Peter Bruegel the Elder. Have seen many of his paintings and it was interesting how the author put context into how the paintings evolved. A great life and a great story about a master artist.

    17. Didn't enjoy this as much as I wished. There was way too much sensatiionalist narrative, then awkward dialogue with historical 'teaching' and art appreciation 101. Wish it had stuck to one style or the other.

    18. Rudy Rucker gives an accurate portrayl of the political climate in and around Antwerp in the 16th century and the intrigues of both church and state. As a biography of Peter Bruegel it reads as a bit of fact mixed with a large portion of conjecture and imagination.

    19. Another of those books that makes you hope that the author did his research carefully, because the portrait of the characters, place, and time are so compelling. I now want very much to see the paintings described.

    20. Wonderful, vivid, fun & sad book. Interesting man, sad times. I loved looking up the paintings for more details as I read.

    21. Made me want to look at color reproduction's of Peter Bruegel's works. The ones in the book weren't very good.

    22. This book drew me in as I've always liked Peter Bruegel's work. The novel told a believable tale about what life might have been like during Bruegel's life.

    23. A very enjoyable fictionalized (and well-researched) biography. Now I just wish I could see the paintings in person.

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