Jan and Lucas van Doetecum after Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlandish, active by 1551, died 1569)
Etching and engraving; only state
12 5/8 x 16 5/8 in. (32.1 x 42.2 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1926 (26.72.56)
A group of soldiers with halberds and long staffs are represented on the hilltop of a magnificent alpine river valley. Three of the soldiers are resting in the foreground, two appear at the crest of the hill, and several others are shown strolling at the left and right of the composition. Printed after a design by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, this image of Soldiers at Rest (Milites Requiescentes) is one of a series of twelve prints known as the Large Landscapes. All of them reflect the deep impression the dramatic mountain vistas made on Bruegel as he traveled through the Alps on his return from Italy around 1554. Carried out primarily in etched lines that have the appearance of engraved ones, the unsigned Large Landscapes were executed by the brothers Joannes and Lucas van Doetecum and published by Hieronymus Cock through his Antwerp shop, At the Four Winds. The prints, which were among the most widely circulated and celebrated of Bruegel's images, allowed a large audience to become acquainted with his strikingly naturalistic and broad-eyed conception of landscape.