Hieronymus Bosch is a Dutch Renaissance painter. Born, presumably in 1450, Mer - in 1516. According to the project for the study and restoration of Bosch's works, the artist painted 24 paintings and 20 drawings. Bosch has been called the most mysterious artist of all time. Researchers are still pondering the secrets of his paintings. However, Bosch's work still raises more questions than answers.
Hieronymus Bosch is an artist whose work is full of riddles and questions. However, like his biography. And not so much is known about the life of "the most mysterious artist". Maybe that's why there are more than enough questions.
Even the date of his birth is said to be “presumably” - 1450. It is known that the birthplace of Hieronymus Bosch is the city of 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. Bosch came from a family of hereditary artists. The real name of the painter is Hieronymus Antonissohn van Aken. They began to call Jerome Bosch, because he chose an abbreviation for the name of his city Den Bosch as a signature.
Surprisingly, the life of an artist, whose paintings are filled with riddles and events that go far beyond normalcy, was completely ordinary, even partly boring. He began and ended his life as a maestro in the city of 's-Hertogenbosch. He left there for a short time - to study painting and on rare trips (although this is also presumably).
Bosch began his artistic career by working on church walls and side-altars.
The artist was a member of the Brotherhood of Our Lady. It was the most influential religious and secular society, in which Jerome's ancestors were for several centuries and served by fulfilling his orders. The family was very well off. Jerome also received his part of the inheritance, which allowed him to lead a quiet life and not tolerate want. In addition, Bosch's marriage was financially successful. Aleit van den Meerveen, a girl from a wealthy and influential family, became his wife. Since then, the financial issue did not have to worry the Bosch couple.
In his hometown, he was considered a respected person. According to the information that researchers of the artist's life have, he was quite positive, optimistic, responsive to people, which hardly correlates with his canvases.
I didn’t have a shortage of customers. But he wrote to order more for entertainment than for profit. Many distinguished people were among his customers. Among them are the Duke of Burgundy Philip I the Handsome, the Duke of Nassau Henry III, the Spanish king Philip II.
Hieronymus Bosch died peacefully in 1516 and was buried with honors as an "outstanding master" in the Cathedral of St. John.
It is noteworthy that not a single picture of him remained in the master's hometown.
Professor Emeritus of Nightmares
Bosch's painting is full of drama, feelings, things that are completely unusual for the layman. With the lifestyle that the artist led, it would be more logical if he painted portraits and landscapes to order. But no, his paintings are an undisguised image of human passions, human vices, the naked nature of hopelessness and hope.
Professor Emeritus of Nightmares is a nickname given to Bosch by his colleagues. In his paintings, the unreal world is written out in great detail. In them, according to scientists, there is a very deep content, much deeper than it seems from a superficial study of the canvases. The artist's paintings produce both a repulsive and attractive impression. What we see on them is sometimes disgusting, but for some reason it is very recognizable, although everything that the artist wanted to say, he spoke in an allegorical form. And it is even more incredible that after five centuries the content of the paintings is as relevant as at the time of their creation.Spanish monk Spanish monk Jose de Sigüenza said about the artist's paintings: "While other artists portrayed a person as he is on the outside, only Bosch had the courage to paint him as he is from the inside."
What prompted Bosch, an exemplary Christian, in every sense a positive person, to create such extraordinary, controversial, contradictory, otherworldly images?
Modern researchers of Bosch's work put forward several theories - from the most incredible to quite acceptable.
Alchemy, occultism, fanatical religiosity, hereticalism, devil worship, alien origins, schizophrenia, the gift of foresight, astrology, the use of hallucinogens - these are not all the options with which the descendants tried to explain the genius and mystery of Bosch's paintings.
The most famous paintings of the Dutch artist are "The Garden of Unearthly Delights", "The Extraction of the Stone of Stupidity", "The Seven Deadly Sins", etc.
Until now, there is an opinion that Bosch's paintings are the prototype of the surrealist direction. Some commonality with Bosch's paintings can be found in the works of Dali and Munch, who worked several centuries later.
The structure of the paintings is also highly appreciated by researchers. On all the canvases, a kind of top view opens, which makes the image more spatial, detailed, allows you to see the details. As a rule, paintings are "crowded", there are many figures on them, of which heterogeneous ones come to the fore, located at first glance, chaotically, and if you look closely, in waves.
It is worth dwelling on the fact that the times in which Bosch worked is the very beginning of the Renaissance. The sprouts of the new era were just beginning to break through, but the cult of the church was still very strong. A state of guilt, constant, chronic - that's what life was permeated with at that time. The cult of death reigned literally. People were ordered to constantly atone for their sins, otherwise terrible torments in hell awaited them, and in order not to drag out the process, the fires of the Inquisition were brought closer to the bonfires of the hell of the wicked.
All this is reflected in the artist's paintings.
Bosch and Da Vinci
There is a version that around the beginning of the 15th century, Bosch traveled to Italy. It is based on the fact that he soon painted the picture The Crucified Martyr, dedicated to Saint Julianne, and the cult of this saint is strong in Northern Italy. Moreover, there are experts who are confident that the influence of the work of Hieronymus Bosch can be seen in the works of Leonardo da Vinci and Giorgione.
According to the project for the study and restoration of Bosch's works, the master painted 24 paintings and 20 drawings. Unfortunately, most of his works have not survived to this day. Remarkably, Bosch did not date or name any of his works.
The most famous works of Bosch
The only painting by Bosch with a woman in the center. This is a painting depicting the crucifixion of St. Julia. It is to this picture that Bosch owes the fact that another page appeared in his biography, albeit unproven - about a trip to Italy.
Garden of earthly delights
Created between 1500 and 1515. The left side of the canvas is paradise, where, despite the seeming bliss, we see scenes of violence and anxiety (animals eat each other, an owl sits on the fountain, WTO being considered a symbol of darkness and sin) In the center, earthly life is depicted, where people indulge in carnal pleasures, not noticing the loss of spirituality. On the right we see hell, which is also far from so unambiguous, does not at all resemble the usual description of the kingdom of the devil.
The triptych is a canvas measuring 220 by 390 centimeters.
Adoration of the Magi
The museums of the world keep three versions of the third version of "Adoration of the Magi": a triptych in the Prado Museum in Madrid and paintings in the New York Metropolitan and the Art Museum in Philadelphia. All of them are attributed to the brush of Hieronymus Bosch.
The triptych was created for a burgher from 's-Hertogenbosch.On the outer parts, the artist depicted the burgher himself, his bride and their saints - St. Peter and St. Agnes.
The last judgment
One of the most frightening pictures of hellish torment. The left side of the picture depicts paradise, in the center - a picture of the Last Judgment, on the right - hell in which sinners suffer. This is the second largest triptych by the artist –163, 7 by 247 cm. Stored in Vienna.
The temptation of St. Anthony
Bosch portrayed a well-known story - the temptation of St. Anthony in the wilderness. The classic idea - the struggle between good and evil - has found a new embodiment in strange and unusual Bosch images. The third largest painting by Bosch: 131.5 by 225 cm. The painting is in Lisbon.
Among other famous works of Hieronymus Bosch, the Prodigal Son, Carrying the Cross, The Magician, The Seven Deadly Sins, The Blessed and Damned, Self-Portrait, The Ship of Fools, Removing the Stone of Stupidity, Carrying Hay.
Research into the work of Bosch continues, but the mysteries of his paintings will continue to excite everyone who has ever met with his work for a long time.