Thursday, 17 March 2016

Major Retrospective: Jheronimus Bosch - Visions of genius

fig.1 Jheronimus Bosch, The Hay Wain, 1510-16, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado.With the special collaboration of The Museo Nacional del Prado.Photo: Rik Klein Gotink and Robert G. Erdmann for the Bosch Research and Conservation Project.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the death of the artist of the bizarre and fantastic, Hieronymus Bosch. In this commemorative year, his hometown of Den Bosch (officially called ’s-Hertogenbosch) in the Netherlands, is currently showing “Jheronimus Bosch - Visions of genius.” This largest Bosch exhibit in history will show 20 paintings, including his prized triptychs, and 19 drawings, as well as works by artist followers of Bosch.

fig.2 Hieronymus Bosch, The Temptation of Saint
Anthony (fragment), c. 1500–10, Oil on oak panel,
38.6 × 25.1 cm. Kansas City, Missouri,
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, purchase William
Rockhill Nelson Trust. Photo Rik Klein Gotink and
image processing Robert G. Erdmann for the Bosch
Research and Conservation Project.
Two Worlds: Reality and Fantasy
Hieronymus Bosch lived in two worlds: the world of reality that surrounded him and the world of fantasy that existed in his mind. The world of reality was created and regulated by the Christian God. There, no matter how evil, fear or violent, everything was the will of God. After meticulously observing the world of reality created by God, Bosch constructed a unique world filled with fantastical creatures such as demons and monsters made by freely synthesizing birds and fish, humans and artificial objects. In his masterpiece triptych The Hay Wain (fig.1), comical demons attempt to transport hay from the central panel into the hell depicted to the right.

Newly Discovered Works by Bosch
Coinciding with the exhibit, a worldwide research project on Bosch was conducted which led to the discovery of evidence definitively attributing several works to the artist himself. Among them was The Temptation of St. Anthony (fig.2) found in the United States. Bosch had worked frequently with the theme of the temptation of St. Anthony’s faith by demons. The research concluded this small painting was part of a triptych

“Jheronimus Bosch - Visions of genius” Until May 8 (open daily)
Het Noordbrabants Museum
Verwersstraat 41
5211HT ’s-Hertogenbosch
The Netherlands
Opening hours:
During the exhibition 9 am to 8 pm every day and from 24th March 2016, 9 am to 11 pm every day