Event Date: 2 June 2016
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
London WC1E 7HX
T. J. Clark Masterclass 2 – Heaven and Earth According to Bruegel
This Masterclass – which is spread over three sessions – will revolve around a painting by Bruegel, The Land of Cockaigne (Munich, Alte Pinakothek), done in 1567, the year the Duke of Alva brought a Spanish army to the Netherlands to try to end Protestant revolt in the colony. Bruegel’s painting is a vision of the hereafter, building on materials drawn from peasant culture, launched at a moment of bitter religious strife. An account of Bruegel’s imagining of heaven on earth, and of his wider treatment of Christian and other eschatologies, will form the first chapter of a book in preparation, Heaven on Earth: Bruegel, Giotto, Poussin, Veronese. The Masterclass will outline the preoccupations of the book, and its possible relevance in a time like the present, of renewed apocalyptic politics and wars of religion. Thinking about Bruegel and the other artists in the book is, among other things, my way of pursuing issues – of political temporality, and reform versus revolution – broached in an essay, ‘For A Left With No Future,’ published in New Left Review in 2012, and as a booklet in Brazil the following year.
Introduction by Professor Lynda Nead (Birkbeck):