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The Tower of Babel

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  • Ashida Tsubasa asked

    Where on the website can I check whether the artwork is displayed or not in your museum?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Ashida,
    On http://collectie.boijmans.nl/en you will be able to look up specific objects from our collection. On each webpage devoted to an object you will find the subheading ‘specifications’. The fourth specification given is ‘location.’ This states whether an object is currently on display, travelling or in storage. The Tower of Babel is currently travelling, as is indicated on the website: http://collectie.boijmans.nl/en/object/3723.
    Kind regards,
    Jephta

  • Filipe asked

    First of all, the 'most famous painting of the museum' isn't included in the masterpiece route; secondly it's not in room 5 but 6, and finally the year is 1565 not 1568.

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Filipe, I have already sent you my response regarding your practical remarks. As for the date of the painting: The painting has not been dated. Nearly all Bruegel experts date the work late (based also on the similarities with the painting 'Die Elster auf dem Galgen' in Darmstadt, dated in 1568. So that's why we have chosen to keep with c. 1568. Best, Rianne Schoonderbeek and Friso Lammertse

  • Ashida Tsubasa asked

    Where on the website can I check whether the artwork is displayed or not in your museum?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Ashida, when a work is on display you can tell by the label on the side of the image, with the text 'Now on display'. Right now, the Tower of Babel is not on display in Rotterdam, but is on view in Tokyo as part of an exhibition displaying the museum's highlights of 15th- and 16th-century Dutch masters. All the best, Rianne

  • Tim Mak asked

    On the left side of Bruegel's Tower, why is there a "red strip" and a "white strip" from the ground to almost the top?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Tim,

    Well-spotted! If you look carefully, the upper part of the tower is of a brighter red colour than the bottom part. Since the bricks in the lower parts of the tower have sat there for a longer time, they are more corroded and weathered. The red vertical strip you described indicates the transport of new red bricks to the top of the tower. The white vertical strip you furthermore mentioned is indicative of the transport of limestone.

    Cheers,
    Frederieke

  • Marie asked

    Hello! I am writing a paper for my Art History class, and I chose to analyse Pieter Bruegel's The Tower of Babel. Unfortunately, I cannot find any relevant information about the patronage of this art work. If you told me who was the patron for this painting (if there was one), it would help me a lot! Thanks in advance.

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Marie,
    Unfortunately, it is unknown whether the painting was commissioned by anyone. According to Karel van Mander’s accounts, the painting was part of the collection of Rudolf II of Prague at the beginning of the seventeenth century, together with the larger version of this painting.
    Best,
    Frederieke

  • Masa asked

    Hi, when The Tower of Babel will came back and on display? How about during April to October in 2019?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Masa,
    The Tower of Babel is currently on loan to Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, it will be on display there until January 13, 2019.

    Kind regards,
    Esther

  • Takashi asked

    Hi, Could you advise where can we watch "The Tower of Babel" now (= on NOV-DEC 2018) ?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Takashi,
    You can see The Tower of Babel in the ‘Kunsthistorisches Museum’ in Vienna, Austria, until 13 january 2019.
    Kind regards,
    Esther

  • Takashi asked

    Thanks for your kind reply! One more question, "When" The Tower of Babel will come
    back and on display in your museum?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Takashi, the Tower of Babel will be back on display in our museum from the middel of February 2019. Will you come and see it? best, Sophie

  • YukoF asked

    Hello.
    I’m Yuko.
    I’ll visit your museum in the middle of April,and I’d like to The Tower of Babel.
    Can I see it in the middle of April??
    Or could you tell me when I can see it ?

    Sincerely
    Yuko

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Yuko,
    You can see The Tower of Babel in our exhibition ‘When the Panels are Closed’, from 9 february until 26 may 2019. Enjoy your visit in April!
    Kind regards,
    Esther

  • E.O. asked

    Could you tell me when will it be on display again?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi E.O., The Tower of Babel will be on display from February 9 - May 26, 2019 in our new presentation 'When the Shutters Close'. Will you come and visit us to see it? best, Sophie

  • Jill Brownbill asked

    Will the Breughel Tower of Babel be on display in Rotterdam when the Museum Boijmans Van Beuninghen is closed for renovation?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Jill, we don't know yet exactly, but it might not always be on display. You can check its webpage in Boijmans collection online. In specifications you can always find the up to date location of the painting. Best, Xin

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  • Details

In this famous painting Bruegel depicts the biblical story of man's hubris and their desire to build a tower that reached to the heavens. God punished them with a Babelonian confusion of tongues. Countless people are flocking around the structure, which reaches to the clouds. Breugel took inspiration for the architecture of his tower from the Colosseum in Rome. In the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is another painting by Bruegel with the same subject.

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Collection book

Collection book Order

Specifications

Title The Tower of Babel
Material and technique Oil on panel
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Width 74.6 cm
Height 59.9 cm
Artists Schilder: Pieter Bruegel (I)
Accession number 2443 (OK)
Credits Verworven met de verzameling van / Acquired with the collection of: D.G. van Beuningen 1958
Department Old Masters
Acquisition date 1958
Age artist Between 37 and 43 years old
Collector Collector / D.G. van Beuningen
Exhibitions Van Eyck tot Bruegel (1994)
The Collection Enriched (2011)
De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
BABEL - Oude meesters terug uit Japan / Old Masters Back from Japan (2018)
External exhibitions Bruegel, een dynastie van schilders (1980)
Nederlandsche Kunst van de XVde en XVIde eeuw (1945)
Collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen – Bruegel’s ‘The Tower of Babel’ and Great 16th Century Masters (2017)
Bruegel (2018)
Material
Object
Geographical origin Southern Netherlands > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

Please note: The metadata of this object have not been checked.
Contact a curator if something seems incorrect.

All about the artist

Pieter Bruegel (I)

Brueghel circa 1526/1530 - Brussel 1569

Pieter Bruegel was born around 1525, probably in or near Breda. From 1551 he worked in Antwerp, at the time one of the most important cities in Western Europe....

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