Hieronymus Bosch born Jheronimus van Aken c1450 – 9 August 1516 was a Dutch/Netherlandish draughtsman and painter from Brabant. He is widely considered one of the most notable representatives of the Early Netherlandish painting school. His work is known for its fantastic illustrations of religious concepts and narratives.
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Interesting Facts About Him
- Bosch is known by many names.
Bosch’s life is ambiguous, and so is his name. Over the centuries, the artist’s first name has been recorded as Heironymous, Jheronimus, Jeroen, Jerom, and Jerome. And in 1604, Dutch art historian Karel van Mander—the artist’s first biographer—used the name Ieronimus. Around the same time period, 16th-century art critic José de Sigüenza wrote Bosch’s first name as Jerónimo.
- Bosch’s most famous work is ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’.
Bosch may have died 500 years ago, but contemporary musicians, designers, choreographers, artists, and authors continue to draw inspiration from his works—mainly from his most famous painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights.
- Many of his works have been lost over the centuries.
Many of Bosch’s works are thought to have been created for religious patrons. However, influential secular figures might have also enjoyed and purchased his elaborate paintings. For example, The Garden of Earthly Delights was displayed in Hendrik III of Nassau’s Brussels palace by 1517—meaning either the ruler or another wealthy patron likely commissioned it.
Not all of Bosch’s paintings survived the centuries, and some that were once attributed to him have been debunked as imitations.
- Historians don’t know much about Bosch.
Few artists are as revered—or as mysterious—as Hieronymous Bosch. At the height of his career, he was famous throughout Europe, and art lovers in the Netherlands, Spain, Austria, and Italy enjoyed (and often imitated) his work. Still, historians know surprisingly little about the painter’s life.
- Bosch’s hometown hosts an annual floating parade honoring his legacy.
You can celebrate the painter’s legacy by attending the annual Bosch Parade, a floating river extravaganza that’s typically held each June in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The region’s creative types pool together to build elaborate, Bosch-themed floats, which they navigate down the Dommel River as thousands of onlookers enjoy the spectacle from land.
Additional Source: Hieronymus Bosch: Visions and Nightmares, Nils Büttner