New Belgium Coins Depict Works of Renaissance Artist Breugel the Elder

2019-08-30 Fri

Belgium released a new silver Proof collector coin in the Europa Star programme celebrating works of the renowned Renaissance Artist, Breugel the Elder. The Royal Dutch Mint manufactures coins on behalf of Royal Belgian Mint for the National Bank of Belgium. Designed by Luc Luycx, the obverse side depicts a section from Bruegel’s 1563 painting called “The Battle of the Moneybags and the Strongboxes”. MPI technique is used for etching to produce a special texture for the background. The common reverse design for the series features a star, inspired from the logo, the national standard design for Belgium, an EU map, texts BELGIE BELGIQUE BELGIEN – the three official languages of Belgium, denomination 10 EURO and year date 2019. The 18.7 grams .925 Silver coin in Proof quality has a diameter of 33 millimetres and a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces. Each coin comes in a special Royal Belgian Mint case with the 12 stars along with a numbered certificate of authenticity.

Belgium is observing Pieter Breugel the Elder’s 450th death anniversary this year. He was the most prominent artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance paintings based from Brabant. He loved highlighting landscapes and peasant scenes on large paintings. His subjects were unique and imagery was very sharp. Interestingly, he never made any portraits, even though it was a trend in Flemish art back then.

He studied under the Antwerp master painter Pieter Coecke van Aelst and married his daughter, Mayken Coecke Bruegel in 1563. They lived in Brussels and had three children. After his training in Italy, he returned to Antwerp, Belgium in 1555. Initially, he worked as a designer for well-known publishers and switched to paintings towards the end of his career. In less than 10 years, he created some of his most memorable works. Bruegel died when he was merely in his 40s on the 9th September 1569. 40 of his paintings are known today, out of which, 12 are showcased at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Experts believe that many of his paintings were also misplaced.

Image Courtesy: The Royal Dutch Mint