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Hieronymus Bosch

living 1474; died 1516

Hieronymus Bosch was born in the town of 's Hertogenbosch near Antwerp, from which he took his name. He was the son of a painter. He is famous for the fantastic and disturbing detail of his panel pictures. In his mature works Bosch developed an original and often macabre language of visual symbolism, sometimes a literal translation of verbal metaphors found in the Bible.

Bosch appears to have spent the majority of his life in 's Hertogenbosch (Bois-le-Duc), although his family probably came from Aachen in Germany. His chronology is uncertain, but the Gallery's 'Christ Mocked' is probably an early work, one of many representing episodes of the Passion of Christ. Bosch's most famous work is perhaps 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' at the Prado, Madrid. In the 17th century Van Mander wrote

'Who will be able to tell of all the weird and strange ideas which were in the mind of Jeronimus Bos, and his expressions of them by his brush? He painted gruesome Pictures.'

Bosch's work particularly influenced Bruegel in the 16th century. His paintings were collected by Philip II of Spain, and in the 20th century were cited by the Surrealists as precursors of their own visions.