Oil Painting The Little Tower of Babel

In 1563, Bruegel moved to Brussels. In the same year, he created The Little Tower Of Babel with profound Bible meaning. As we mentioned earlier, this theme belonged to the second kind of works. This kind of works often chose the Bible story properly to allude to the real world.

The painter with great composition described the tower of Babel, with intercepting clouds displaying the high tower and genre painting techniques depicting the relations of people, things and the environment. With the miniature painting skills, the painter described many episodic characters so as to reveal people’s forces to overcome the nature. In this Bible painting, the painter the reconcile nature between men and the nature in rebuilding the world. The struggle between men and the nature was with the heroism, but also full of tragic sense.

The Little Tower of Babel

The Little Tower of Babel

In order to show the height of the tower of Babel,  Pieter Bruegel processed this fantastic scene with the grand composition. He not only carefully depicted the many characters, but also amputated one top with the clouds in the top of the tower and drew a looming summit above the clouds to show the built terrible height. The tower was located in the seaside and there were docked ships in the right corner of the beach. The distance was the dense houses which exhibited rich plain scenery. The people who built the tower led a class guards to come to supervise the truth of construction: the quarreling artisans had been dispersed, only a few remained waiting for the director. Among them, one kneeled to the director and talked about the complexity of this accident. But it seemed that the director and the guards could not understand his words. In front of the tower, there was a "collapse" which could not be picked up.

With miniature painting techniques, the painter drew the dense small construction workers and vehicles on each layer of the tower. Each layer of the inside of the tower was a whole; each other again huddled close together. In order to pursue such a huge and complicated painting effect, Bruegel intended to prolong the ratio distance of characters, the tower body and the nature to show the great and arduous project and the creative power of humans. In revealing human’s conquering the nature of the pressure, what the painter emphasized was the rhapsodic color. This painting measures 114 × 155 cm high and is now preserved in the Vienna Museum of fine art.


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