One of Bruegel’s worst paintings. The horror of this picture can be somewhat explained by the incomprehensibility of this canvas and all the events taking place on it. If we consider the picture of Mad Greta from the side of emotional perception, then in its expressiveness it surpasses even the phantasmagoric images and ideas of Bosch.
A closer look reveals a blood-red sky, which is covered in an ominous haze, while the whole picture is simply dotted with various vile and ominous creatures. We see huge ugly heads with large eyes that give rise to these terrible creatures.
At the same time, people who are around do not seem to notice anything happening, but die because of the stampede that they themselves created, due to the fact that they were blinded by their greed and try their best to gain as much gold as possible. People do not notice that in fact it is not gold, but the impurities that the ugly giant spews.
The picture amazes and evokes a feeling of disgust neither by ugly creatures, but by the fact that people have become insane from their baseness, stupidity and vices.
It is thanks to them that the atmosphere of pitch hell was created, and not by the devil and monsters. Not terrible monsters, not the devil himself amaze in this picture, but people, crazy and mired in vices. In the center of the canvas is a huge woman who is dressed in some kind of rags. There is a sword in her hand, and a dagger is hidden behind her belt, apparently she is carrying away someone else's things. Not far from her, ordinary people are robbing someone's house.
Moreover, the name of the picture itself has symbolism. At that time, the Big Greta was named the big gun, and most likely the artist tried to show all the terrible motives of the war that cover the world. In confirmation of this, the dilapidated walls of the fortress, fires and large troops with deadly spears in their arsenal.
Shrovetide Picture by Kustodiev Description