what is most remarkable about the paintings of pieter breugel the elder
In the same year he painted ‘The Triumph of the Death’, a year later ‘Dulle Griet’. In none of this three paintings, any sign of Salvation is visible.
We know little about his life as a painter and draftsman, having the ambition to be a second ‘Hieronymus Bosch’. The virtuoso looseness of his brushwork, his brightly colored palette, creative parsimonious use of paint and above all the distinguished draftsmanship with which he renders peoples movements in superb suggestive landscapes, make him the most important painter of the third quarter of the sixteenth century in Western history. Frans Floris, Pieter Aertsen and Joachim Beuckelaer were his contemporaries at a dramatic period in the Flemish history.
Still, his sons were no amateurs. Pieter the Younger dedicated most of his life to making creditable copies of his father’s works, but he did so without having access to the originals, basing his versions on sketches and small-scale painted copies. Jan the Elder (so called because his own son, Jan, became a painter) also made copies, but he soon struck out on his own with an entirely different form of landscapes and, most famously, with a new genre of flower paintings.
”Van Mander took a lot of poetic license,” said Karl Schutz, director of painting at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. ”He modeled the lives of his painters on their works, so Bruegel had to be a peasant.”
Bruegel was sometimes referred to as “Peasant Bruegel.” Unjustifiably, the exhibition organizers in Vienna say. With this show they also want to show Bruegel‘s thematic breadth. “He was familiar with humanistic ideas, he traveled to Italy, he addressed social topics and religion. He was more than just an artist who depicted peasant life,” said Haag.
Aphrodite, Venus and Helen: As symbols of beauty, they have inspired paintings since Antiquity.
For Bruegel the composition is unusually traditional. Perhaps because he was treating such a solemn religious event, he adopted a well-known scheme, used previously by the Brunswick Monogrammist  and Bruegel‘s Antwerp contemporary, Pieter Aertsen. Christ’s insignificance among the crowds is a familiar device of mannerist painting (it recurs in the Preaching of John the Baptist, as well as The Conversion of Paul), as is the artificial placing of Mary and her companions in a rocky foreground, which is deliberately distanced from the dramatic events taking place behind them. 
The Procession to Calvary is an oil-on-panel by the Netherlandish Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder of Christ carrying the Cross set in a large landscape, painted in 1564. It is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Upon returning to Antwerp in September 1604 Brueghel bought a large house called “De Meerminne” (The Mermaid) in the Lange Nieuwstraat in Antwerp on 20 September 1604. The artist remarried in April 1605. With his second wife Catharina van Mariënburg he had 8 children of whom Ambrosius became a painter. 
Starting with Brueghel 17th century flower still lifes are dominated by the floral arrangements, which are placed against a neutral dark background or a plain setting of a stone niche. Minor details such insects, butterflies, snails and separate sprays of flowers or rosemary may occasionally be added but are subordinate to the principal subject.  While Brueghel sought out very rare flowers, he used certain common blooms such as tulips, irises and roses to anchor his bouquets. This may have been a response to his patrons’ wishes as well as compositional considerations.  His bouquets were typically composed of flowers blooming in different seasons of the year so they could never have been painted together directly from nature. Brueghel was in the habit of traveling to make drawings of flowers that were not available in Antwerp, so that he could paint them into his bouquets. Brueghel rendered the flowers with an almost scientific precision. He arranged each flower with hardly any overlap so that they are shown off to their best advantage, and many are shown at different angles. The flowers are arranged by size with smaller ones at the bottom of the bouquet, larger flowers such as tulips, cornflowers, peonies and guelder roses in the centre and large flowers, such as white lilies and blue irises, at the top of the bouquet.