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(Book) The Bosco. The complete work


The Bosco. The complete work


Delicious demons, nightmare creatures and heinous angels. No painter has come close to the fantastic imaginary of Bosco . This large-format publication presents his extraordinary work at a scale that reveals both its compositional complexity and its most cryptic details. Delve into the complete work of the artist through new photographs of recently restored paintings as well as the magnificent flyers of The Last Judgment and The Garden of Earthly Delights.


Radical revival

Paradises, allegories and delights of the complex, unique and fascinating work of Bosco


In the midst of the artistic climate with realistic tendencies of the late Gothic and early Renaissance, the Dutch painter Jerónimo Bosch, El Bosco (c. 1450-1516), constituted an extraordinary anomaly. His paintings are full of grotesque scenes featuring fantastic beings who succumb to all kinds of human fantasies, anguish and yearnings. One of his great genius was taking the figurative and scenic representations known as drolleries, which use monsters and grotesque beings to illustrate sins and evil, and transfer them from the margins of miniature manuscripts to paintings in large-format altarpieces. Along with the traditional hybrids of man and beast, such as centaurs, and mythological creatures such as unicorns, devils, dragons, and griffons, we also find countless monsters from the artist’s imagination. Many secondary scenes illustrate proverbs and phrases in common use in the time of Bosco. In the triptych The Temptation of Saint AnthonyFor example, the artist portrays the messenger demon wearing ice skates, reflecting a popular expression: the world “skated on ice,” that is, it had strayed from the right path. Bosch was especially innovative in the pictorial translation of proverbs.

The work of Bosco (whose name was actually Jheronimus van Aken) has been the subject of profuse copies and imitations: in fact, the number of works by disciples of Bosco that has survived to us exceeds by more than ten times the production of the own teacher. At present, only 20 paintings and eight drawings are attributed with total certainty to the hand of Bosco, who continues to be considered a visionary, portraitist of dreams and nightmares, as well as the quintessential painter of hell and its demons.

This book, published on the occasion of the next 500th anniversary of the painter’s death , includes new photographs of recently restored works and covers the entirety of the artist’s work. Discover the pictorial ingenuity of Bosco in wonderful reproductions, rich in detail, and in a huge fold-out over 110 cm wide of The Garden of Earthly Delights . Stefan Fischer , art historian and renowned expert on the subject , explores what elements of Bosco and his work made him such an influential figure.


About the Author


Stefan Fischer studied art history, history, and classical archeology in Münster, Amsterdam, and Bonn. In 2009 he concluded his doctoral thesis on Bosco, entitled Jerónimo Bosch: painting as a vision, an indoctrinating instrument and a work of art . His specialties are Dutch painting from the 15th to 17th centuries and museology.


The Bosco. The complete work


Stefan fischer
Hardcover with 2 fold-out pages and fabric bookmarks, 29 x 39.5 cm, 300 pages, in a cardboard box with handle
ISBN 978-3-8365-2629-6
Edition: English
ISBN 978-3-8365-2630-2
Edition: French


About The Author

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