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Stefan Fischer

Hieronymus Bosch. The Complete Works

Hieronymus Bosch. The Complete Works

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Hieronymus Bosch was a Late Gothic and Early Renaissance artist known for his paintings populated with grotesque scenes of fantastical creatures succumbing to human desire, fantasy, and angst. He invented drolleries, which use the monstrous and the grotesque to illustrate sin and evil, and transferred them from illuminated manuscripts into large-format panel paintings. Bosch was widely copied and imitated, but today only 20 paintings and eight drawings are confidently assigned to his oeuvre. This book covers the artists complete works and examines what it was about Bosch and his painting that proved so immensely influential.

Format: Hardback
Length: 300 pages
Publication date: 26 February 2021
Publisher: Taschen GmbH

In the midst of the realist-leaning artistic climate of the Late Gothic and Early Renaissance, Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450–1516) emerged as a true anomaly. Bosch's paintings are a tapestry of grotesque scenes, populated with fantastical creatures succumbing to all manner of human desire, fantasy, and angst. One of his greatest inventions was to elevate the figural and scenic representations known as drolleries, which use the monstrous and the grotesque to illustrate sin and evil, from the margins of illuminated manuscripts to large-format panel paintings. Alongside traditional hybrids of man and beast, such as centaurs and mythological creatures like unicorns, devils, dragons, and griffins, Bosch's creations also featured countless mixed creatures freely invented by the artist. These subsidiary scenes served as a means to illustrate proverbs and figures of speech commonly used in Bosch's day. In his renowned Temptation of St Anthony triptych, for instance, Bosch depicted a messenger devil wearing ice skates, evoking the popular expression that the world was "skating on ice," meaning it had gone astray. In his pictorial translation of proverbs, particularly, Bosch was a true innovator.

Bosch—whose real name was Jheronimus van Aken—was widely copied and imitated, with the number of surviving works by his followers exceeding his own production by more than tenfold. Today, only 20 paintings and eight drawings can confidently be attributed to Bosch's oeuvre. However, his legacy continues to endure as a visionary, a portrayer of dreams and nightmares, and the painter par excellence of hell and its demons.

In anticipation of the upcoming 500th anniversary of Bosch's death, this comprehensive book, featuring brand new photography of recently restored paintings, presents a comprehensive coverage of the artist's complete works. The book delves into Bosch's life, influences, and artistic techniques, shedding light on the rich tapestry of his creations. It explores his imaginative world, filled with intricate details, symbolic imagery, and a profound understanding of human nature. Bosch's paintings invite viewers to embark on a journey through the depths of the human psyche, where nightmares and fantasies intertwine, and where the line between good and evil becomes blurred. Through his masterful use of color, light, and composition, Bosch creates a visual language that is both haunting and captivating, leaving a lasting impact on art history.

In conclusion, Hieronymus Bosch's paintings stand as a testament to his unique vision and artistic brilliance. His ability to blend realism and fantasy, to explore the darker aspects of human nature, and to create a visual language that is both haunting and captivating has made him one of the most influential painters of the Renaissance. This comprehensive book, published in celebration of his 500th anniversary, provides a valuable insight into the life and work of this remarkable artist, allowing us to appreciate his enduring legacy and the profound impact he has had on the world of art.

Weight: 4462g
Dimension: 327 x 463 x 54 (mm)
ISBN-13: 9783836526296

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