Robbing the Bird's Nest

Image credit: The Holburne Museum

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Pieter Brueghel the Younger produced a number of roundels depicting proverbs. Here the central figure is pointing over his shoulder at a man clinging to a tree and attempting to rob a bird’s nest. The figures could be demonstrating the proverb: ‘He who knows where the nest is, has the knowledge, he who robs, has the nest.’ The subject is taken from a much larger painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, in which the pointing peasant is unwittingly about to stumble into a stream.

Robbing the Bird's Nest




oil on panel


H 18 x W 17.3 cm;
H 17.8 x W 17.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by Miss Mary Anne Barbara Holburne, 1882

Work type



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The Holburne Museum

Great Pulteney Street, Bath, Somerset BA2 4DB England

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