Hieronymous Bosch (1450-1516)

Buy The Garden of Earthly Delights , Hell, 1504 (right wing detail) at AllPosters.com
The Garden of Earthly Delights , Hell, 1504 (right wing detail)
Buy The Garden of Earthly Delights , Hell, 1504 (right wing detail) at AllPosters.com
The Garden of Earthly Delights , Hell, 1504 (right wing detail)
Buy The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1504 at AllPosters.com
The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1504
For some strange reason (which I'll try to fathom), Hieronymous Bosch is not so highly regarded in his homeland.  In fact a visit to the Rijksmuseum in search of one single Bosch painting is an exercise in futility.  I recently visited the museum's excellent website, and alas, he is left off the list of hundreds of Dutch artists!  This flemish painter whose magnificient yet eeire landscapes filled with bizarre creatures, horrific demons and blasphemies (Garden of Earthly Delights) influenced many artists including the surrealists, is almost a non-entity in Holland.  My guess is his religious themed works didn't play too well during the golden age, when the Dutch were pursuing pleasure, not piousness.  Bosch's hellish message of paying grotesquely for sins in one's lifetime was probably as much a turnoff to the existential Dutch (then and now) as the Spanish Inquisition was during it's heyday in Holland.

Perhaps another reason is that much of his work has been spirited off to Spain and France, hanging in the Louvre and Prado museums.  It seems the Catholic countries can better appreciate the evils of sin and the price to be paid in hell.

Update: I recently got to see the excellent Bosch exhibition at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, in Rotterdam and learned that his paintings were so prized that they were taken as war booty and thus were spirited out of Holland and ended up in the museums above and others around the world. The exhibit was marvelous but crowded, which contrary to my earlier statement shows that the Dutch DO appreciate Bosch after all!


Hieronymus Bosch
(Masters of Art)
by Carl Linfert


Note: Find out why are there no paintings from Hieronymous Bosch in Holland.



Hieronymous Bosch (1450-1516)
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