March 8, 2009

The Art of Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) was born to a family of artists in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, from which his name was derived and where he worked all of his life. Although some of his paintings are fairly traditional, he also created pictures that rank among the most powerful imaginative fantasy scenes in the history of art.


(Bosch, Hieronymus. The Garden of Earthly Delights.
c. 1500. oil on panel. Prado, Madrid.)



(Bosch, Hieronymus. The Garden of Earthly Delights. [Left Panel]
c. 1500. oil on panel. Prado, Madrid.)



(Bosch, Hieronymus. The Garden of Earthly Delights. [Middle Panel] c. 1500. oil on panel. Prado, Madrid.)



(Bosch, Hieronymus. The Garden of Earthly Delights. [Middle Panel Detail] c. 1500. oil on panel. Prado, Madrid.)



(Bosch, Hieronymus. The Garden of Earthly Delights. [Middle Panel Detail] c. 1500. oil on panel. Prado, Madrid.)



(Bosch, Hieronymus. The Garden of Earthly Delights. [Right Panel] c. 1500. oil on panel. Prado, Madrid.)



(Bosch, Hieronymus. The Garden of Earthly Delights. [Right Panel Detail] c. 1500. oil on panel. Prado, Madrid.)



(Bosch, Hieronymus. The Garden of Earthly Delights. [Right Panel Detail] c. 1500. oil on panel. Prado, Madrid.)

His paintings depict a weird world full of grotesque and horrifying creatures, giving vivid form to the fear of Hell that haunted the medieval minds of that time.


(Bosch, Hieronymus. The Last Judgment. c. 1500. oil on panel.
Akademie der Bildenden Kunste, Vienna.)

Little is known of Bosch’s life because his work is so compellingly strange it has prompted ideas that he was involved with witchcraft or heresy. However, all the contemporary evidence suggests that he was a devout Christian as well as a respected and successful citizen of the prosperous provincial town where he evidently spent all his life.


(Bosch, Hieronymus. The Ship of Fools.
c. 1490-1500. oil on panel. Louvre, Paris.)

His work was popular and influential (for example on Bruegel) during the 16th century, but then long forgotten. Since his rediscovery in the early 20th century he has continued to fascinate and perplex viewers.


(Bosch, Hieronymus. The Seven Deadly Sins.
c. 1480-90. oil on panel. Prado, Madrid.)


(Bosch, Hieronymus. The Seven Deadly Sins. [Detail] c. 1480-90. oil on panel. Prado, Madrid.)

His work once rediscovered influenced the famous artists of the surrealist movement, especially the work of Salvador Dali. His wild imagination combined with his attention to detail and his his realistic figures is unparelleled and his is much appreciated here!

Enjoy :)

Reference: King, R. Art. New York: Dk Publishing, 2008.

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