artist / participant


press release

13.02.2016-08.05.2016 Noordbrabants Museum, Den Bosch
31.05.2016-11.09.2016 Prado, Madrid


Jheronimus Bosch – Visions of genius press release

Noordbrabants Museum, Den Bosch

Based on six years of intensive and comprehensive research, the BRCP’s team of experts ultimately attributed 24 paintings and 20 drawings to Bosch himself. No fewer than 17 of these paintings and 19 drawings can be seen at the exhibition, including two spectacular new discoveries that have been in the news recently: the drawing Infernal Landscape , from a Belgian private collection, and the painting The Temptation of St Anthony from the Nelson

Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri (USA). The exhibition also includes six paintings that the researchers believe were made by assistants of Hieronymus Bosch at his workshop on the main square in Den Bosch. In addition to these, a series of objects are displayed that sketch the cultural context in which Bosch’s works were produced, including rare 15th and 16th

century manuscripts, printed books, prints, sculpture, and brass, silver and gold metalwork.

Masterpieces from world-famous museums

The dozens of loans come from leading European and American museums. They include the celebrated Haywain from the Museo Nacional del Prado (Madrid), the Ship of Fools from the Musée du Louvre (Paris) and four Afterlife Panels from the Gallerie dell’Accademia (Venice). The exhibition also boasts masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam), the Metropolitan Museum (New York), the Gemäldegalerie (Berlin), and the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna). The exceptionally large number of paintings and drawings will offer visitors a unique opportunity to study Hieronymus Bosch’s revolutionary and highly imaginative visual language in depth and at first hand.

Nine paintings restored

The condition of the exhibited works is also exceptional. No fewer than nine paintings by Bosch himself were restored in preparation for the exhibition. Virtually all of these often spectacular restorations occurred with the financial support and/or advice of the Bosch Research and Conservation Project (BRCP), with the backing of the Gieskes

Strijbis Fund and the Getty Foundation. The paintings in question have now been given back their original colour and eloquence. The exhibition in ’s

Hertogenbosch is the first time they have been seen in public, which means the presentation offers a new and surprising view of Hieronymus Bosch’s updated oeuvre.

Temporarily reunited

Several separated and scattered works have been reunited for the duration of the exhibition. Like several other of Hieronymus Bosch’s triptychs, the so

called ‘Wayfarer Triptych’ , for instance, was broken up in the course of the centuries The side panels were sawn apart and ended up in four different museums, while the central panel was lost. The backs and fronts of the wings were separated, and the outsides were sawn into a different shape to create the octagonal ‘Wayfarer’ painting now in the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. The work has been reunited for the exhibition w ith the other fragments: the ‘Ship of Fools’ (Musée du Louvre), the ‘Allegory of Gluttony and Lust’ (Yale University Art Gallery) and ‘Death and the Miser’ (National Gallery of Art, Washington).
The reunification of the spectacularly restored ‘Ship of Fool s’ and the ‘Allegory of Gluttony and Lust’ – which can now be viewed as a single image for the first time since their separation – is particularly spectacular. It is not the only example of an extraordinary reunion, however: elements of the former altarpie ce of the Brotherhood of Our Lady from St John’s Cathedral in Den Bosch have also been brought back together for the exhibition from three different countries.

Exhibition themes

The exhibition is organised thematically along broad, spatial lines. The fol lowing six themes guide visitors through the presentation: The Pilgrimage of Life, Bosch in ’s

Hertogenbosch, The Life of Christ, Bosch as Draughtsman, Saints and the End Times . The exhibition incorporates reconstructions and visual displays that draw on the technologies developed for the research project to provide a unique insight into the creation of Bosch's works.

Hieronymus Bosch: the Netherlands’ most important medieval painter

Bosch is best known for the demonic figures, famous monsters, angels and saints that populate his drawings and panels. His highly distinctive work, full of illusions and hallucinations, weird creatures and nightmares, represents the great themes of his time, such as temptation, sin and final reckoning , like no other . Created a round 1500, as the Middle Ages were giving way to the Renaissance, Bosch’s paintings and drawings offer an enigmatic view of the relationship between individual human beings, their surroundings and their creator. Bosch ranks among the absolute greats of wo rld art; his work influenced generations of followers, and continues to inspire new artists today. ‘Hieronymus Bosch is the most important and original medieval artist our country ever produced. It has been a long

cherished ambition to bring the majority of his works back to his home town in 2016. This is also a fantastic opportunity for a new generation to discover this work, which is unique in every respect.’

Charles de Mooij, Director of the Noordbrabants Museum