Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Celebrating Hieronymus Bosch

From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

The Hieronymus Bosch exhibition described in “Dutch museum achieves the impossible with new Hieronymus Bosch show” [Maev Kennedy, Guardian, October 21, 2015] opened on Monday last week, a 500-year anniversary celebration. Excerpt:
Seven years ago, the director of a small museum in the Netherlands set out on an impossible quest: he wanted to borrow every surviving work in the world by the wildest imagination in the history of art, Hieronymus Bosch, to celebrate his 500th anniversary in the city of his birth. He did not have a single painting to offer on loan in return.
    In an exhibition opening next February, Charles de Mooij will unveil his haul at his Noordbrabants museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch….
    Bosch was famous in his lifetime, was described 30 years after his death as “the devil’s painter”, and has been beloved for centuries by artists and generations of stoned students. But where did the weirdness that swarmed from his brain come from? De Mooij shakes his head: “That is still the big question.”
    Ostensibly, he was an utterly respectable Roman Catholic citizen of the small, prosperous town where he was born in 1450 and died in 1516. He was married, and spent most of his life living on one side of the market square, crossing 100 yards every day to his studio. He was born into a family of industrious but run-of-the-mill artists, and though he had no children, his grandfather, father, uncles, and nephews were all painters.
    He was also, says De Mooij, an astute self-promoter. The family was originally from Aachen, but he took the wool-rich town as his brand, changing his name from Jeroen van Aken to the grander sounding Jheronimus Bosch. It worked. His clients included princes of church and state, including the Count of Nassau (who hung the teeming vision of heaven and hell of The Garden of Earthly Delights over the king-size bed in his palace in Brussels). [read more]
    Still more:
  • “Prado Museum Rescinds Loan of Downgraded Hieronymus Bosch Works” [Nina Siegal, NY Times, February 16]. Excerpt:
AMSTERDAM — The Prado museum in Madrid has rescinded the loan of two works to a major retrospective of Hieronymus Bosch after researchers downgraded the attribution of the paintings to Bosch’s workshop or followers rather than to the 16th-century Dutch master himself. [read more]
And a limerick!, offered as a comment Sunday on the August 20, 2011 post, “Word games”:
There once was a man of Stoke Poges,
Entirely resolved to poke Doges.
    So this elderly menace
    Took steamship to Venice
And was hung for unwelcome approaches.
Copyright © 2016 by Morris Dean

No comments:

Post a Comment