A somewhat altered version of the image below appears on some ancient astronaut websites as evidence for reptilian aliens in sixteenth century Burgundy (now Belgium). That it appears alongside the obviously fake Uzbekistan alien cave art does not speak highly for the legitimacy of the work. However, this is in fact an actual drawing made by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1557 as part of his Seven Vices series. This image is “Luxury.”
There is not much to say about the lizard people; they are simply animal-demons in the style of other Renaissance depictions of hell, sin, and demons. The hell panel in Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights triptych is probably the best known example. Both images use similar motifs and imagery. It’s absurd to think that Flemish artists, who were not members of the ruling elite, were privy to information about aliens that made its way into no written texts or published books.
I’m more interested though in the little creature in the upper right hand corner. It frankly surprises me that so badly to alternative theorists want to talk about reptilian aliens that no one has claimed that the creature is an accurate depiction of a pterodactyl three centuries before their discovery—and with feathers four centuries before we knew dinosaurs had them. Oh, well. It’s just as well. It isn’t really a pterodactyl. As you can see from the birds in the rest of the image, Bruegel drew stylized birds with long tails.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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