Plein-air pen and wash on paper

Jheronimus Bosch 500

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We are currently visiting in Brabant, a province of the Netherlands. So many things are happening during the last few days that I have not been able to focus on sketching but it is still to come.

One of several visits that stood out was the 500 year anniversary celebration of a Dutch painter who lived in den Bosch around 1500. Although his work was two-dimensional, several peculiar figures out of his paintings were recreated in three dimensions and displayed in locations around the city centre of den Bosch, such as the one shown here.

One of many 3D extractions

One of many 3D extractions of Jheronimus Bosch paintings.

This painter was obviously a good craftsman who came from a family of painters and who practiced or prepared  the figures for his paintings with sketches. I made a photo of one of many sketches that were exhibited in glass covered display cases. The building’s stained glass windows are also reflected in this photograph.

Sketches or studies

Sketches or studies

In this exhibition space, the Jheronimus Bosch Art Centre, formerly the Saint Jacob Church, there were many reproductions of triptychs, paintings and drawings, mostly with themes taken from the bible. He often lets his imagination run free. This is manifested in the painting shown here “Temptation of Saint Anthony” in which the devil is portrayed in many ways.

Temptation of St. Anthony

Temptation of St. Anthony

Many bizarre looking figures, animals and objects, some bordering on vulgarity can be found in his work in general. I wonder how it was that the church who dominated the world in those days, accepted such extreme departure from the usual  piety used in paintings with religious themes.


Author: John Hofman

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