In pursuit of Breugel: Madrid and The Triumph of Death

In pursuit of Breugel: Madrid and <em>The Triumph of Death</em>

Don DeLillo’s massive novel Underworld opens with a prologue called ‘The Triumph of Death’.  The title comes from the Bruegel painting that hangs in the Prado in Madrid – the first Bruguel we ever saw in the flesh (so to speak), visiting there on an Easter break in 2003. As spectators watch the closing minutes of the famous Dodgers-Giants 1951 baseball league final, a piece of paper drifts down and sticks to the shoulder of J. Edgar Hoover sitting in the stands. It’s a page torn from that week’s issue of Life magazine, a reproduction of Bruegel’s painting, that illustrates an article about the Prado. Continue reading “In pursuit of Breugel: Madrid and The Triumph of Death