An extraordinary painter who stands apart from the prevailing Flemish traditions in painting. His style was unique, strikingly free, and his symbolism, unforgettably vivid, remains unparalleled to this day. Marvellous and terrifying, he expresses an intense pessimism and reflects the anxieties of his time, one of social and political upheaval.
He spent his entire artistic career in the small Dutch town of Hertogenbosch (near Antwerp) from which he derived his name. Hieronymus Bosch was a member of the religious Brotherhood of Our Lady, for whom he painted several altarpieces for the Cathedral of Saint John's, Hertogenbosch, all of which are now lost. The artist probably never went far from home, although records exist of a commission in 1504 from Philip the Handsome (later king of Castile), for a lost Last Judgment altarpiece. None of Bosch's pictures are dated, although the artist signed many of them.
At the time of his death, Hieronymus Bosch was internationally celebrated as an eccentric painter of religious visions who dealt in particular with the torments of hell. During his lifetime Hieronymus Bosch's art works were in the inventories of noble families of the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, and they were imitated in a number of oil paintings and prints throughout the 16th century, especially in the works of Pieter Bruegel.
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