Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 'The Wedding Dance', 1566
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 'The Wedding Dance', 1566, Oil on panel, 47 x 62 in. (119.4 x 157.5 cm), Detroit Institute of Arts.
The Wedding Dance (sometimes known as The Dance Village) is a 1566 oil-on-panel painting by the Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525 – 9 September 1569). Owned by the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Michigan, the work was discovered by its director in England in 1930, and brought to Detroit. It is believed to be one of a set of three Bruegel works from around the same time, The Wedding Dance, The Peasant Wedding (1567) and The Peasant Dance (1569).
The painting depicts 125 wedding guests. As was customary in the Renaissance period, the brides wore black and men wore codpieces. Voyeurism is depicted throughout the art work; dancing was tabooed at the time by the authorities and the church, and the painting can be seen as both a critique and comic depiction of a stereotypical oversexed, overindulgent, peasant class of the times.