The Big Fish eat the small Fish

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569)


Location : Vienna (Austria), Albertina, Grafische Sammlung

Published by Hieronymus Cock (1510 – 1570)in Antwerp.

According Matthijs Ilsink in Book ‘Bosch and Bruegel als Bosch’, 2009, page 216 is this the preparatory drawing of Pieter Bruegel, who later copied many times, both this composition, as in mirror image. For example in Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, in the British Museum in London, in the Los Angeles County Museum, in the Metropoltan Museum in New York, The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and many other places.

The topic is created by Hieronymus Bosch in his painting ‘ Temptation of Anthony’ in the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisboa. On the left panel you will see against the left in the middle his parody of the saying “Big fish eat small fish ‘.


Toon meer objectgegevens


Brush and Pen and Grey and Brown ink on paper

Size in cm:

21,6 x 30,7

Image source:

Website '' and ''

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