Pieter Bruegel (about 1525-69), usually known as Pieter Bruegel the Elder to
distinguish him from his elder son, was the first in a family of Flemish painters.
He spelled his name Brueghel until 1559, and his sons retained the "h"
in the spelling of their names.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, generally considered the greatest Flemish painter
of the 16th century, is by far the most important member of the family. He was
probably born in Breda in the Duchy of Brabant, now in The Netherlands. Accepted
as a master in the Antwerp painters' guild in 1551, he was apprenticed to Coecke
van Aelst, a leading Antwerp artist, sculptor, architect, and designer of tapestry
and stained glass.
Bruegel traveled to Italy in 1551 or 1552, completing a number of paintings,
mostly landscapes, there. He married van Aelst's daughter, Mayken, in 1563.
His association with the van Aelst family drew Bruegel to the artistic traditions
of the Mechelen (now Malines) region in which allegorical and peasant themes
run strongly. His paintings, including his landscapes and scenes of peasant
life, stress the absurd and vulgar, yet are full of zest and fine detail. They
also expose human weaknesses and follies.
He developed an original style that uniformly holds narrative, or story-telling,
meaning. In subject matter he ranged widely, from conventional Biblical scenes
and parables of Christ to such mythological portrayals as Landscape with the
Fall of Icarus; religious allegories in the style of Hieronymus Bosch; and social
satires. But it was in nature that he found his greatest inspiration. His mountain
landscapes have few parallels in European art. Popular in his own day, his works
have remained consistently popular. Bruegel died in Brussels between Sept. 5
and 9, 1569.
Ravensburger HistoryRavensburger Spieleverlag GmbH is a German game company and market leader in the European jigsaw puzzle market.
The company was founded by Otto Robert Maier with seat in Ravensburg, a town in Upper Swabia in southern Germany. He began publishing in 1883 with his first author contract. He started publishing instruction folders for craftsmen and architects, which soon acquired him a solid financial basis. His first board game appeared in 1884, named "Journey around the world".
At the turn of the 20th century, his product line broadened to include picture books, books, children’s activity books, Art Instruction manuals, non-fiction books, and reference books as well as children’s games, Happy Families and activity kits. In 1900, the Ravensburger blue triangle trademark was registered with the Imperial Patent office. As of 1912, many board and activity games had an export version that was distributed to Western Europe, the countries of the Danube Monarchy as well as Russia.
Before the First World War, Ravensburger had around 800 products. The publishing house was damaged during the Second World War and continued to produce games in the years of the reconstruction. The company focused on children's games and books and specialized books for art, architecture and hobbies, and from 1962 grew strongly. The company started to produce jigsaw puzzle games in 1964, and in the same year opened subsidiaries in Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In 1977 the company split into a book publishing arm and a game publishing arm.
Today there are approximately 1,800 available books and 850 games as well as puzzles, hobby products and CD-ROM titles at Ravensburger and its subsidiaries, which include Alea for "hobby and ardent game players" and FX Schmid for games and children's books. Ravensburger products are exported to more than fifty countries.
In September 2010, Ravensburger broke Educa's record for the world's largest jigsaw puzzle of 24,000 pieces. Ravensburger's new puzzle design by late pop artist Keith Haring titled, 'Keith Haring: Double Retrospect' breaks the Guinness Book of World Records measuring 17' × 6' built from 32,256 pieces and comes with its own dolly cart for toting.