The Celebrated Work of Bosch

by | Sep 13, 2018

Hieronymus Bosch lived and died around 600 years ago, so you would think that perhaps his influence would no longer be felt. However, the argument can be made that Bosch’s influence is still felt, and the sheer artistry and scale of his paintings has not been able to be duplicated in the centuries since. There are several representations of Bosch’s work here.

Biography of Bosch

Unlike his contemporaries in the 15th century, such as the Van Eyck brothers and Lippi, not much is known about the life of Bosch. Hieronymus Bosch was actually born Jheronimus van Aken, but he signed his last name for the town where he was born and raised and lived his entire life, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, which means “the forest” in Dutch. We know next to nothing about the painter himself. No one is even certain when he was born, also art historians have narrowed it down to five years on either side of 1450.  He left no diaries, but we do know that he came from a family of painters. His grandfather, uncles, brothers and father were all painters, and it is assumed one of them taught him to paint. None of Bosch’s family works have ever been found.

Bosch belonged to a conservative Catholic church. He was married to a wealthy woman, but there is no record they had children. During his life, he was a popular painter and received many commissions for his work.

The Art of Bosch

What we know of Bosch’s work comes from his surviving triptychs, which are… in a word… extraordinary. His most famous work “The Garden of Earthly Delights”, took him 10 years to paint (it is thought). The outer panel illustrates the world during creation in black and white. When opened, the triptych depicts the creation of the world, and is frank in its depiction of Adam and Eve and the sexuality of humans, which was unheard of at the time. In addition, his other well-known triptych, “The Last Judgment” is equally fragmented in its description of hell and judgment. The amount of detail in Bosch’s paintings is nothing short of amazing. You cannot take in Bosch’s works in one glance, which is why we’ve displayed them in pieces here.

While he was well-known in the 15th century, Bosch’s work has become increasingly well known as an example of the incredible artistry of some religious artists, and the desire of the artist to depict humans in as natural a body reflection as possible, rather than the stylized art of the Middle Ages, which did not reflect humans in their natural state. The detail of plants and animals is also astounding, as Bosch did not travel to the Holy Land during his life and could only imagine what the area looked like.

Whether you are a fan of religious art, or you are merely impressed by the work of the artist himself, consider incorporating a piece of art done by Bosch or by artists influenced by Bosch on our website. We know you will be amazed by the sheer artistry of a man who died nearly 500 years ago.


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