There are some highly common American proverbs that find its usage even today. Although some are amusing, there are some that are intricate and deep. You would be surprised to know that it has been in place since the past 450 years and the painting has just proved it. It is not only in a single language and you will be able to notice that the painting has proverbs in multiple languages spanning across different cultures and centuries.

A master of Dutch origin, Pieter Bruegel the Elder has come up with this incredible painting that comprises of multiple Netherlandish Proverbs, which are commonly known as Dutch proverbs. It is oil on wood painting and comprises of more than 100 proverbs in Dutch. The proverbs are similar to American proverbs and when you take a closer look, you will realize the hidden meaning.

In the above photo, you can see that the woman is wearing red, which is also known as the color of sin. Blue depicts cheating and when you see the painting, it is evident that the woman is not only handing a coat, but also cheating on the husband.

You can go see the original n Gemäldegalerie in Berlin and even on Google Arts & Culture, you will be able to learn more about all the proverbs that are present in the painting. Scroll down to take a look at it and you will truly appreciate it.

The Netherlandish Proverbs. Pieter Bruegel the Elder. 1559. Oil on wood. 163 x 117 cm. Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

“She puts the blue cloak on her husband.” (She cheats on, or deceives, her husband.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

To bang one’s head against a brick wall.

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

Move like your a** is on fire!

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

One shears sheep, the other shears pigs. (One has all the advantages, the other has none.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

It depends on the fall of the cards. (Let the chips falls where they may.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

Two fools under one hood. (Stupidity loves company.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

To be pissing against the moon. (To be pissing into the wind.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

They both crap through the same hole. (Bosom buddies.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

If the blind lead the blind, both will fall in the ditch. (The blind leading the blind.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

It is ill to swim against the current. (An uphill battle.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

He who has spilt his porridge cannot scrape it all up again. (Don’t cry over spilt milk.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

Two dogs over one bone seldom agree. (To argue uselessly over a single point).

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

Sitting on hot coals. (To be impatient.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

To hang one’s cloak according to the wind. (To adapt one’s viewpoint to the current opinion.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

The whole world is upside down.

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

To have the roof tiled with tarts. (To be very wealthy).

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

To sit between two stools in the ashes. (To be indecisive.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

To be able to tie even the devil to a pillow. (Perseverance overcomes everything.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

To crap on the world. (To despise everything.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

A pillar-biter. (A religious hypocrite.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

To lead each other by the nose. (To fool each other.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

To have the world spinning on one’s thumb. (To have the world in the palm of your hand.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

To put a spoke in someone’s wheel. (To throw a wrench in someone’s plans.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

Horse droppings are not figs. (Appearances are deceiving.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs

To try to kill two flies with one stroke. (To kill two birds with one stone.)

pieter brueghel the dutch proverbs