Pieter Bruegel the Elder ca. 1520 – 1569

Saul (Battle Against The Filistines On The Gilboa)

oil on panel (33 × 55 cm) — 1562 Museum Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Pieter Bruegel the Elder biography

This work is linked to 1 Samuel 31:4

Tags: Saul

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Landscape at Mount Gilboa. To the right a battle is taking place in which king Saul's troops defend their country Israel against invading Philistines. Armoured men fight each other amidst a forest of lances. From the cliff in the middle archers shoot their deadly arrows at their rivals.

Fearing an imminent defeat, Saul orders his armour-bearer to kill him, in order to prevent himself from being captured by the enemy (the uncircumsized, as he calls them). The squire refuses. Saul then throws himself on his own sword, which Bruegel shows us to the left.

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