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Daily life in Europe

Everyman, a drawing

Height: 209.000 mm
Width: 292.000 mm

PD 1854-6-28-36 (Popham 3)

Everyman, a drawing

From: Flanders
Date: AD 1558

Peter Bruegel drew this image and it was transformed into an engraving. This meant it could be printed thousands of times and seen by many more people. Bruegel hoped it would make them live better and more sensible lives. In the picture the strange man with a beard and spectacles is labelled 'Elck', the Dutch word for 'everyman'. How many Elcks can you find in the picture?

Elck is searching in vain among objects such as barrels and chessboards for something that will make him richer. Bruegel is trying to tell us that people will find happiness inside themselves and not in things.