The Massacre of the Innocents

by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525?-1569)


Oil on canvas, 43 3/4 x 63 inches, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

[Back to 'The Massacre of the Innocents,' by Maurice Maeterlinck]

Matthew 2:16-18: "When Herod saw how the astologers [three Wise Men] had tricked him [by not reporting back to him the child's location] he fell into a passion, and gave orders for the massacre of all children in Bethlehem and its neighborhood, of the age of two years and younger, which was the time he had been given by the astrologers [for the birth of the child who was to become king of the Jews.] So the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah were fulfilled: 'A voice was heard in Rama, wailing and loudly lamenting; it was Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing all consolation, because they were no more.'"