Pieter Bruegel the Elder ca. 1520 – 1569

Census at Bethlehem

oil on panel (116 × 164 cm) — 1566 Museum Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels

Pieter Bruegel the Elder biography

This work is linked to Luke 2:1

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A cozy winter tableau of an average village in Brabant. The inn is crowded. In mid-foreground, a woman seated on an ass, in the company of a man with a saw on his shoulder leading an ox – Mary and Joseph, of course, on their way to Bethlehem, city of Joseph's ancestors, for the census ordered by the Romans. For them there is no room left in the inn.

To the left in the background is a church, an obvious anachronism.

Also known as The Numbering at Bethlehem.

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