The Census of Bethlehem is a vast and snowy scene. A frozen river snakes toward a church in the distance, a crowd of villagers cluster in the foreground, and in-between wagons loaded with branches and barrels are left untended while children play and birds fly. Despite the animation of the image, the many small moments it captures (including a religious mystery), the work as a whole is unified through the Flemish master’s balance of color and space. This online tour through the painting’s many details allows viewers to zoom into the composition, accompanied by curatorial analysis of form and content. For more on Bruegel, another of the museum’s virtual exhibitions—”Unseen Masterpieces”—highlights the artist’s under-explored works. —C.J.F.
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium Rue de la Régence 3, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium Get Directions »