View of the Tiber (Tivoli) Pieter Bruegel Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The print from Bruegel's career titled View of the Tiber (Tivoli) is one of a number of landscape designs that he produced in the mid-16th century. He worked in collaboration with a number of other Belgian artists in order to create the artwork that we find here.

We see a small town or village upon the hill top in the far distance. Bruegel produced a number of artworks based in Italy and this region would be of interest to any budding artist in Northern Europe because of its role within the Renaissance as well as the classical architecture and sculpture from centuries before. We cannot be sure about what is pictured here came from his imagination, from his own book collection or from travels, but we do know that he studied the country in order to help his own career with new ideas. Nature was an important element to his style and he will always be closely linked to his use of the landscape genre, which he devoted much of his career too. He would not always make use of humanity within his scenes, and it is rare within this series to see so many buildings.

This print does not have quite the same qualities as some of the other parts of this series but its concentration on the Italian region give it a unique edge. There is much to learn from Bruegel's work here, both in how he set about designing for engravers, who would not use colour for their next stage. There would have been many technical considerations as opposed to when he worked exclusively with oils, as also the etchings themselves would be multi-layered and so he would need to make sure that elements such as shadow and depth would still work effectively. Once he had accepted the work of the engravers, the designs would be sent off to the printmakers to finally produce the prints which would be distributed around Belgium and beyond.

The Tiber itself is amongst the longest rivers in Italy and has featured within the careers of many Italian artists. Bruegel himself would have been well aware of the qualities of Italian art, and specifically the innovations that brought about the Italian Renaissance. As the same time, those in Northern Europe were also creating their own movement which would become significant in itself, albeit with other ideas and techniques that slowly over time would also be taken on in other parts of the continent. This truly was a time of innovation, creativity and also of cultural exchange where no single nation had all the answers, and everyone realised this.