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Hieronymus Bosch | The Garden of Earthly Delights (1500)

Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) was a Dutch/Netherlandish painter and draughtsman from Brabant. He is one of the most notable representatives of the Early Netherlandish painting school.

His work contains fantastic illustrations of religious concepts and narratives. Within his lifetime his work was collected in the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, and widely copied, especially his macabre and nightmarish depictions of hell.


Little is known of Bosch's life, though there are some records. He spent most of it in the town of 's-Hertogenbosch, where he was born in his grandfather's house. The roots of his forefathers are in Nijmegen and Aachen (which is visible in his surname: Van Aken).


His pessimistic and fantastical style cast a wide influence on northern art of the 16th century, with Pieter Bruegel the Elder being his best-known follower. Today he is seen as a hugely individualistic painter with deep insight into humanity's desires and deepest fears.


Attribution has been especially difficult; today only about twenty-five paintings are confidently given to his hand along with eight drawings.


Approximately another half dozen paintings are confidently attributed to his workshop. His most acclaimed works consist of a few triptych altarpieces, including The Garden of Earthly Delights.

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