Discover Benelux, Issue 27, March 2016

Page 24

Discover Benelux | Explore Den Bosch | 500 Years of Hieronymus Bosch

LEFT: Jheronimus Bosch, Infernal Landscape, private collection. RIGHT: Jheronimus Bosch, Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1470-80, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1913

composed piece, Bosch left his brushwork exposed. “There was an efficiency about painting more directly and in thin layers without waiting long and elaborate times for glazes and layers to dry,” explains Professor Silver. “But Bosch’s virtuosity lay in his brushwork, not in minutiae of lustre or texture.” Dr. Ilsink and his team, including fellow expert Prof. Dr. Jos Koldeweij, in partnership with the Hieronymus Bosch 500 Foundation and the Radboud University of Nijmegen, have used the latest technologies to study and restore Bosch’s remaining work including infrared reflectography and ultra-high resolution digital macrophotography. The research has indeed borne many fruits. Recently two works, previously attributed to a pupil and a workshop assistant of Bosch, The Temptation of St. Anthony and the Infernal Landscape, are now confirmed to be by the master himself. “Since there are so few works of Bosch left, any addition is very special,” says Dr. Ilsink. Talking about the Infernal Landscape drawing, he says: 24 | Issue 27 | March 2016

“I think it’s a very valuable document that gives us more insight and an understanding of how that artist thinks and how he makes and creates his images.” The chaotic sketch of a harrowing fantasy of hell can only be described as ‘Boschian’. Yet truly understanding an artist who left little in the way of archival documents, has posed many challenges for the BRCP: “We know where he lived, when he died, where he was buried and how much tax he paid, but these are separate worlds from the worlds of his paintings,” says Dr. Ilsink. “I doubt that we will ever really get to know that person.” There can be no doubt that Bosch’s work holds many more mysteries, and the enthusiasm and loyalty from his hometown of Den Bosch has created opportunities for a new generation to get acquainted with the Dutch master. Jheronimus Bosch: Visions of a Genius will be showing at the Noordbrabants Museum until 8 May.

500 YEARS OF BOSCH: This year, Den Bosch, located in the south of the Netherlands, celebrates its most famous son with over 90 cultural activities of music, dance, theatre and circus productions, exhibitions, projects in public spaces, lightshows, books and games. Visitors can partake in the Bosch Experience, which includes a visit to the artist’s family studio and his home. Another spectacle, the Bosch Grand Tour, is an exploration of Bosch’s current influences through contemporary art and design. New works by Jeroen Kooijmans, Atelier Van Lieshout, Jan Fabre and Gabriel Lester will be featured, as well as exhibitions delving deeper into Bosch’s symbolism, use of animals and works directly inspired by his art.