Limburg town celebrates 650th birthday, and its most famous resident


A festival marking the 650th anniversary of a Limburg town has offered fresh proof that Bruegel is still modern, even four centuries years after his death

Birthplace of Flemish Renaissance painter

In February, Peer in Limburg celebrated the 650th anniversary of its status as a town, granted by the nobleman Everaert van der Marck. Some 150 years later, it was, legend has it, the birthplace of the most significant painter of the Flemish Renaissance, Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

One of the events marking the 650th anniversary is the Cartoon Festival. The call went out to cartoonists all over the world to imagine the modern world through Breugel’s eyes. No fewer than 573 cartoons were sent in from 260 cartoonists in 55 countries.

“Imagine the work of Bruegel seen through the eyes of a Chinese, Brazilian, Greek or Kosovar artist,” the municipal council said. “This is proof that Bruegel is still modern, even 450 years after his death.”

The submissions were whittled down to 150 by a jury chaired by Kurt Valkeneers, better known as Klier, the house cartoonist for Het Belang Van Limburg and Gazet Van Antwerpen. Klier also drew the poster (pictured), a parody of Bruegel’s “The Peasant Wedding”, in which the delivery of something that looks like hummus to a table of wedding guests is replaced by a pizza delivery boy on a scooter.

The exhibition runs until 31 July. 

Photo credit: Klier/Stad Peer