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Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The Misanthrope. 1568. Oil on canvas. Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy. More. [Order a Print][Order a Hand-Painted Reproduction]

Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The Misanthrope.

The Misanthrope. The hooded misanthrope, who refuses to look at the world, is being robbed by the small figure in a glass ball, a symbol of vanity. The inscription on the painting reads: ‘because the world is perfidious, I am going into mourning’. The moral of the painting is that this belief brings only harm and first of all to its owner. It’s immoral to live in the world and abandon responsibility for it.

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