Artist's description:

This print is based upon an enigmatic painting by Pieter Bruegel (1525? - 1569) titled 'the bee-keepers and the bird-nester', made in 1568. Peter Bruegel's works often carried a message or illustrated a moral but scholars have debated the gist of that particular picture.

Three bee-keepers cautiously practice a steady trade. Their bodies are carefully covered, their faces masked by wicker screens, their necessarily bare hands are pulled up into their sleeves as far as is practically possible. Behind them a portly fellow hauls himself into a tree, taking the opportunity to remove eggs from a bird's nest. He is unequipped and his physique mismatches the task.

My own interpretation is that Pieter is trying to encourage those without resources to persevere. The obscure bird-nester is without means, yet by sheer determination he secures a decent supper.


This print is pulled from a relief plate cut from rubber, a variation of letterpress, akin to lino printing. The completed edition made 7 copies. The paper and ink are of high quality and should present no keeping difficulty. The print would fit straight into a 10x10 inch frame if required or trimming the print as required is included. Please see the adjacent photograph as to how the image is positioned on the paper.

Materials used:

oil-based printing inks, Lambeth Cartridge paper 130gsm

the birds and the bees (2017)


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This artwork is sold by Peter Long from United Kingdom

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