Currently reading : Hieronymus Bosch: The Complete Works
In what feels like a suitably festive release, Taschen Books has published for the first time the complete works of Dutch painter Hieronymous Bosch, the twisted master of fantasy known for his graphic depiction of moral narrative. When presenting the artist’s work alongside that of contemporaries including Botticelli and Piero della Francesca, it is apparent Bosch was somewhat of a deviant, presenting fanatical horrors with a sense of irony and depicting the innate desires that remain a subject of discomfort and controversy over half a millennia later.
Presenting defining works including The Garden of Earthly Delights triptych, which depicts scenes from Adam in the Garden of Eden to the hellish torments of damnation, surrounding perhaps most interestingly a central panorama of naked figures succumbing to all manner of human desires, Bosch revolutionised not only the way in which we perceive the biblical concepts of heaven and hell, giving particularly the latter a graphic literal embodiment to terrorise the minds of generations of potential sinners, but our perception of the very moral dichotomy they depict. His work presented visual allegories of the ever more harrowing realities seen in the word around him, Dutch art historian Karel van Mander describing Bosch’s work as comprising “wondrous and strange fantasies, [though] often less pleasant than gruesome to look at.”
The book, published ahead of the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death presents the now only 20 works that can confidently attributed to him within the context of their creation and restoration.
See the video below to leaf through the complete title published by Taschen.