On Monday, 8 May, in Berlin, Schwartz heard a top connoisseur account for differences in finish between two paintings by Hugo van der Goes as acceptable variations within a single artistic personality, and on 12 May, in Den Bosch, heard another top connoisseur denying the very possibility of such a thing concerning two paintings by Jheronimus Bosch. What a week!
Missing pages from Schwartz’s book on Jheronimus Bosch of 2016. The artist in Den Bosch closest to the master himself was the protean Alart du Hameel. A column to make up for leaving him out. Continue reading “399 With apologies to Alart – his missing double spread”
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At a symposium in Vienna devoted to Jheronimus Bosch’s Last Judgment in the Paintings Gallery of the Akademie der bildenden Künste, I presented a paper that was published only a few months later (hats off to Julia Neuhaus and her staff ) in a volume of proceedings. It was dedicated to the memory of Roger Marijnissen, who died earlier that year, in January 2019, at the age of 95.
Gary Schwartz, “A Last Judgment to scare the hell out of you,” in Hieronymus Boschs Weltgerichts-Triptychon in seiner Zeit: Publikation zur gleichnamigen internationalen Konferenz vom 21. bis 23. November 2019 in der Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien | Hieronymus Bosch’s Last Judgment Triptych in the 1500s: Publication of the proceedings of the international conference held from 21 – 23 November 2019 in the Paintings Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Vienna (Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste) 2020, pp. 149-67
Because it was not possible to place all the illustrations I wanted, the depictions of the Vision of Tundale by followers or copyists of Bosch had to be left out. I added them separately at Visions of Tondal in Bosch mode.
A new friend I have yet to meet, Luca Del Baldo, has done something so far out of the ordinary that I am stunned in amazement. Singlehandedly, with unimaginable dedication and tenacity, he has called into being a 98-person community of people who write about art, painting portraits of each and getting them to put down on paper thoughts on portraiture. Here is Schwartz’s contribution, followed by two recently published articles to be downloaded or requested.
Lead essay in the catalogue of an exhibition at the Bucerius Forum, Hamburg, 4 June-11 September 2016: Verkehrte Welt: das Jahrhundert von Hieronymus Bosch, edited by Michael Philipp
The essay argues that the Garden of Delights by Jheronimus Bosch is based on the first account of creation in the Bible. Genesis 1 speaks of the creation of man and woman simultaneously, both in the image of God. No prohibition is expressed against eating forbidden fruit; the first humans are not disobedient; there is no serpent to tempt them; they are not embarrassed by their nakedness; they are not expelled from Eden and cursed with a life of hard work and painful childbearing. This picture corresponds to the left panel of the Garden of Delights. The spectacular center panel shows what the world would have looked like had the Fall of Man not taken place, had mankind been free merely to “be fruitful and multiply.”
The hell panel is compared by the author to the 12th-century Vision of Tundale, a Dutch translation of which was published in Den Bosch in 1484. The point of both works is to frighten the reader or viewer into repenting from sin before it is too late. The message is not one of inevitable damnation, but of how to achieve salvation, as did Tundale.
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The opposition between the parched land in Bosch’s Haywain and the unquenchable thirst of its inhabitants for dry hay is contrasted to the mouthwatering abundance of the aqueous Garden of Delights. Schwartz suggests that this supports his interpretation of the Garden as a fulfillment of God’s command to the first man and woman. Continue reading “346 Bosch’s dry Haywain and his sopping wet Garden of Delights”
Jheronimus Bosch painted a man having a flower removed from his head, with an inscription speaking of a stone being cut out. Schwartz cannot explain why, but he nonetheless proposes a new theory of what is going on in the painting. He sees more empathy in it than scorn. Continue reading “343 A medical opinion from Jheronimus Bosch”
Key features of the art of Jheronimus Bosch are illuminated by a book published in the Netherlands in the artist’s early years. Raymond Sebond’s Natural theology, or Book of the creatures, can help us understand what God was doing with a book at the creation and why the Garden of earthly delights looks so unnatural. Continue reading “340 Jheronimus Bosch and the Book of Nature”
The recently closed exhibition Images of Erasmus at the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam rightly introduced Hieronymus Bosch into Erasmus’s sphere. Schwartz reveals unsuspected truths – well, at least possible truths – about the two of them.