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The painter Brueghel is the last in the Dutch Renaissance. In his works on the late medieval type of thinking, he demonstrated the stupidity and weakness of man.
Peter Bruegel created the following works in 1566: “The Sermon of John the Baptist”, “Census”, “Beating of Babies”. In these works, for the first time, the theme of the life of the common people in the universal social plan was raised.
The paintings fascinate with the awareness of the authenticity of the events, and the plot from the Gospel serves only as a cover. The slaughter of the babies describes a fragment of a historically significant event from the New Testament - the Bethlehem story related to the birth of Jesus. This event is a manifestation of the bloody despotism of King Great Herod, who occupies the royal throne illegally. The beating of babies artwork shows an attack by Spanish soldiers on a Dutch settlement. Soldiers breaking into buildings take their children from their mothers.
The author of the work most likely witnessed the atrocities of the troops in supposedly heretical settlements. That is why the soldiers of King Herod in Spanish military uniforms, and Bethlehem represented the Flemish village. In the first mentions, the picture is called "Assault on the village."
The picture shows how a simple village family begs not to kill their child, how a mother loses consciousness due to helplessness, and many other burning moments. This work of Bruegel is the first in which the historical socio-moral theme is touched at the same time. This is due to events taking place in the Netherlands at that time.
The moment of creation of the work coincides with the beginning of the revolutionary struggle of local residents with Spanish Catholicism and feudalism.
From the beginning of the revolution, all the works of Brueghel begin to guess the events of that period of time.