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Bosch: Painting a fantastical picture of Netherlandish imagination ….

Greetings from s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. I’m here for the Jheronimus Bosch Art Center in the Saint Johns cathedral. To paint a clearer more colourful picture…….. I’m dressed to match todays museum excursion. I’m wearing my Garden of Earthly Delights hoodie, the counter staff point it out, like a true art nerd I say “I’m a huge fan!”

I enter an enormous church. 3D recreations of characters from Bosch paintings hang down from above and encircle the space. As astronomical clock chimes, a recreation that shows the real time, solar time and star time also the Lunar time and the phases of the moon, the zodiac and the position of the moon and sun in the zodiac. There is also a calendar wheel which shows us the days of the week, the twelve months and the Religious Holy and Saint days. I hope that paints a bit of a picture if not you can check out this link to the google street view:,5.31228,3a,90y,167.06h,81.71t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1s_f4k8DVoC1gAAAGu3Q6tvg!2e0!3e2!6m1!1e1?hl=nl

Jheronimus Bosch (ca. 1450-1516) is a late medieval painter who is best known

depictions of religious conflict of good and evil. I love his intensely detailed imaginative paintings of which only about 25 have been attributed to his hand. Not much is known about his life, in fact not much is known about the complex cabaret of characters in his paintings and what they mean. What we do know is he is one hell of a painter of macabre scenes!

Bosch painted his works mostly on oak panels using oil as a medium. Bosch's palette was rather limited and contained the usual pigments of his time. He mostly used azurite for blue skies and distant landscapes, green copper-based glazes and paints consisting of malachite or verdigris for foliage and foreground landscapes, and lead tin yellows, earth ochres and red lake (carmine/ madder lake) for his figures.

Bosch painted in a subject and style typical of late medieval morality in an effort to teach specific moral and spiritual truths in the manner of other Northern renaissance figures. Scholars still argue today about attributions as well as the meanings of elements in within his works. His seeming seeming surrealism still attracts interest by art lovers today.

This gallery is full of re-creations of his work, including alter pieces you can open and close. Entry to the centre is inexpensive and comes with a sizeable pocket guidebook, the biggest one I've ever received in any museum in all my travels. The book tells a point of focus of each work, and there are a lot of them. In the basement of the church they have recreated of the Bosch studio, complete with a creepy mannequin. they had a collection of his some delightful drawings along with contemporary art inspired by the master. At the top of the building, after ascending a tall winding staircase is an amazing panoramic view of the town proper. I highly recommend visiting the Jheronimus Bosch Art Center.  

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