This focused volume presents a deep exploration and new interpretations of the winter paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1525–1569). By applying new methodological approaches and interdisciplinary research to these masterpieces of Flemish Renaissance art, including Winter Landscape with Skaters and Bird Trap (1565) and The Census at Bethlehem (1566), both at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the book offers an enhanced understanding of the painter’s relationship to his time and the extent to which his winter landscapes were meant to reflect real-life situations. After tracing how these paintings have been understood over time, the essays propose new insights into such issues as whether Bruegel depicts the plight of the local populace during winter and whether The Census at Bethlehem challenges or reaffirms central power structures. Abundantly illustrated, Bruegel’s Winter Scenes is both a thorough examination and a celebration of these widely admired images.