On 11th and 12th February news articles appeared both on television and on the BBC as well as in the Daily Mail regarding the fact that all the paintings of Heironymous Bosch were to be exhibited together in his home town of Den Bosch, southern Holland.
The works of this fantastical artist of 500 years ago consist of 25 paintings and 25 drawings and I will do a longer more detailed post about them. Until I saw the article on BBC News at Ten on the 11 February 2016 I had never heard of this artist and I am still not sure what I make of him!
Bosch’s paintings are definitely fantastical but his use of line and mark making is something to behold. Without further research I cannot understand what his influences were but this is one exhibition I would love to see – he is fascinating but in all honesty ‘wierd’ would be an apt description even if totally not in the vein of art history critical reviews.
The links to both articles are below:
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35556023?SThisFB The title is “Hieronymous Bosch paintings in historic Netherlands homecoming”. The author is David Sillito.
- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3453347/Sinners-sit-naked-spikes-dragons-spew-souls-pot-works-Hieronymus-Bosch-exhibited-time-500-years-wild-artist-died.html The title of the article is: “Devils, crucifixions and sinners on spikes: All the works of Hieronymus Bosch are exhibited together for the first time 500 years after the wild artist died” and is written by one Isabel Hunter.
From basic research Bosch was born in the Netherlands but of Germanic heritage around 1450 and by the end of his life in 1516 his works were widely collected particularly those of his depictions of hell. There is no doubt of the fact that his paintings had a religious basis and current thinking amongst scholars seems to be that they are less fantastical but accurately reflect the religious beliefs of the time – from a Christian art point of view they are very different to those of medieval art. There is also art history scholarly thinking that theorises that his works have ironic tendencies that offers detachment from both the real world and that of the fantasy world and thereby appeals to conservative and progressive minds – this does make sense to me as from the paintings I have seen on-line they are neither realistic nor strictly fantastical and maybe that is why I find them a little weird and strange but nonetheless appealing greatly.
The problem with Bosch is that he left behind no writings or diaries that gave insight into his influences or indeed the history behind each work so there is no question that art historians will no doubt argue over his works for some time to come and try to decipher what category they fit in too or what they mean.
As for me at this moment – I find the works incredible, fascinating but definitely still weird.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 2016. Hieronymus Bosch, Netherlandish Painter [online]. [Date Accessed: February 2016]. Available from: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Hieronymus-Bosch