Jheronimus Bosch Art Center

Tamis 2023

 

 

“Family functions: reviewing the Van Aken workshop” (Dorien Tamis) 2023

 

[in: Jos Koldeweij and Willeke Cornelissen (eds.), Jheronimus Bosch – His Workshop and His Followers – 5th International Jheronimus Bosch Conference, May 11-13, 2023, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, 2023, pp. 356-373]

 

 

This paper deals with the question of how what we know of workshop organisation of painters in general compares to what is known about the Van Aken family ‘enterprise’. Most scholars agree that Bosch was a member of a family workshop, but we cannot be sure about workshop collaborators from outside the Van Aken family. There were years during Bosch’s active period in which the family could offer six potential collaborators, and in other years four were available. There is no overlap between documents relating to Bosch’s workshop and his paintings, but his extant oeuvre is generally considered the product of a collaborative workshop organisation. Tell-tale signs of studio collaboration are different ‘hands’ and the recurrent use of motifs. Probably, Bosch’s clientele did not object against the participation of assistants, as long as high-quality workmanship was involved.

 

[explicit May 21, 2024 – Eric De Bruyn]

Hoogstede 2023

 

 

“The Vienna Last Judgement Triptych revisited: notes on comparing paintings” (Luuk Hoogstede) 2023

 

[in: Jos Koldeweij and Willeke Cornelissen (eds.), Jheronimus Bosch – His Workshop and His Followers – 5th International Jheronimus Bosch Conference, May 11-13, 2023, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, 2023, pp. 342-354]

 

 

All the panels of Bosch’s Vienna Last Judgement triptych show numerous minor and major changes in the underdrawing as well as in the painting stages. Later additions, dating from after 1520-25, include numerous retouchings as well as extensive overpainting applied in multiple campaigns of cleaning and restoration in the left and right interior panels. The exterior panels and the central panel are better preserved and therefore more suitable for a comparison of details within the triptych and in other Bosch paintings, although interpretation always remains prone to subjectivity. Hoogstede then sums up six of the major characteristics of the painting in the Vienna triptych’s interior panels. Some of these characteristics can also be found in some other paintings by Bosch, whereas others cannot. However, Bosch’s artistic development is not as clear as we would like, and the chronology of his paintings remains an issue. It seems safe to assume workshop involvement in particular for the largest paintings. The Vienna Last Judgement may help us gain a better understanding of the working practices of Bosch’s studio, but further research of the available technical data is required.

 

[explicit May 20, 2024 – Eric De Bruyn]

Spronk 2023

 

 

“The Vienna Last Judgement revisited: The underdrawings” (Ron Spronk) 2023

 

[in: Jos Koldeweij and Willeke Cornelissen (eds.), Jheronimus Bosch – His Workshop and His Followers – 5th International Jheronimus Bosch Conference, May 11-13, 2023, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, 2023, pp. 322-340]

 

 

Bosch’s Vienna Last Judgement triptych was subjected to multiple technical examinations between 2011 and 2018, in the context of two different research projects. The identification (by Koldeweij) of the saint on the right exterior wing as St Hippolytus and examination of the coat of arms on the same panel led to the conclusion that the triptych was commissioned by Hippolyte de Berthoz, a high-ranking Burgundian courtier from Bruges. The early removal of the arms of De Berthoz and his depiction as underdrawn but never painted patron in the lower left of the central panel were probably instigated by the death of Hippolyte de Berthoz in 1503, which means that the triptych was more than likely produced around that year.

 

Spronk points out a ‘striking, if not dramatic’ difference between the style of execution and the materials used of the underdrawings on the exterior wings and those on the interior panels. The underdrawings on the exterior wings fit seamlessly within the core group of Bosch works, but the underdrawings of the interior panels do not. Thus, the underdrawings of the opened triptych differ dramatically in style and method from the underdrawings of the exterior wings and of the paintings that belong to the core of Bosch’s oeuvre. That is why the BRCP denies the autograph nature of the underdrawings of the interior panels: they were not done by Bosch himself. The exterior panels were underdrawn and painted by Bosch himself.

 

Who could have been responsible for the underdrawings of the interior panels? It may have been Jan Provoost, a painter from Bruges (born around 1465), who could have been active in Bosch’s workshop for a short period around 1503. Or did the production of the triptych take place In Bruges, the hometown of the patron, in collaboration with one or more local painters? There were several links between the extended Van Aken family and Bruges. The possibility of Bosch having worked on location on large commissions (see for example the Garden of Delights triptych) deserves more attention.

 

If the BRCP is right, the ‘Vienna case’ sheds interesting light on Koreny’s conclusions (see Koreny 2012 and Koreny 2023), although it does not necessarily prove that Koreny was altogether wrong.

 

[explicit May 16, 2024 – Eric De Bruyn]

Scholten 2023

 

 

“The painters Jan Claessoen and Ghysbrecht Tyssoen Hoeyen; specialised employees of Jheronimus Bosch?” (Loes Scholten) 2023

 

[in: Jos Koldeweij and Willeke Cornelissen (eds.), Jheronimus Bosch – His Workshop and His Followers – 5th International Jheronimus Bosch Conference, May 11-13, 2023, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, 2023, pp. 298-320]

 

 

After having given a survey of what we know today about the workshops of Bosch’s father and of Bosch himself, Scholten focuses on the altarpiece of the ’s-Hertogenbosch Brotherhood of Our Lady. More than likely, Bosch was assisted by painters who were allowed to take on a job themselves every now and then. Two of these assistants may have been Jan Claessoen and Ghysbrecht Tyssoen Hoeyen, who both worked for a large number of days (respectively 329 and 318) between 1508 and 1510 on the polychroming and gilding of the carved components of the Brotherhood’s altarpiece. This is plausible because in 1508 it were Bosch and Jan Heyns who advised the Brotherhood regarding its altarpiece and because it was common practice for medieval painting workshops to carry out polychrome painting and gilding projects. Jheronimus himself may have had more creative projects to deal with, leaving minor and time-consuming commissions to some of his assistants.

 

[explicit May 13, 2024 – Eric De Bruyn]

Salsi 2023

 

 

The Dream of Raphael or The Allegory of Human Life by Giorgio Ghisi and its pictorial copies: the success of a motif ‘d’après Bosch’ in the second half of the sixteenth century” (Claudio Salsi) 2023

 

[in: Jos Koldeweij and Willeke Cornelissen (eds.), Jheronimus Bosch – His Workshop and His Followers – 5th International Jheronimus Bosch Conference, May 11-13, 2023, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, 2023, pp. 276-297]

 

 

In this essay, Salsi argues that a remarkable portion of Giorgio Ghisi’s engraving The Allegory of Human Life (published in 1561) reproduces ‘almost exactly’ the central composition of the central panel of Bosch’s Lisbon Temptations of St Anthony triptych, even though the reference to Boschian iconography is ‘not explicit and perhaps not directly sought by the Mantuan engraver’. Salsi also introduces five paintings which are based on Ghisi’s print with varying degrees of faithfulness. Personally and with the best will in the world, I do not see any similarity between the Ghisi engraving and Bosch’s Lisbon central panel.

 

[explicit May 10, 2024 – Eric De Bruyn]

Michael 2023

 

 

“With the ‘Rockman’ from ‘Bosch’ to ‘Van Oostsanen’” (Meinhard Michael) 2023

 

[in: Jos Koldeweij en Willeke Cornelissen (eds.), Jheronimus Bosch – His Workshop and His Followers – 5th International Jheronimus Bosch Conference, May 11-13, 2023, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, 2023, pp. 228-252]

 

 

In this essay, which suffers from a lack of clear methodology and probably also from a poor translation from the German, Michael tries to convince the reader of the presence of a number of similar details and visual echoes in two drawings by the so-called Master of the Dresden William of Maleval Drawing, in some Bosch paintings and drawings, and in works from the circle of Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen. This leads to the hypothesis, admittedly of a highly speculative nature, that the draughtsman of the Maleval drawings was someone who first worked in the Bosch workshop and later in the Van Oostsanen workshop.

 

[explicit May 8, 2024 – Eric De Bruyn]

Lafontaine 2023

 

 

“‘A Rose by Any Other Name’: Connoisseurship and Questions of Attribution in Jheronimus Bosch’s Haywain Triptych” (Marie-Eve Lafontaine) 2023

 

[in: Jos Koldeweij and Willeke Cornelissen (eds.), Jheronimus Bosch – His Workshop and His Followers – 5th International Jheronimus Bosch Conference, May 11-13, 2023, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, 2023, pp. 204-227]

 

 

The research done by the Bosch Research and Conservation Project (BRCP 2016) has yielded interesting scientific data concerning the Bosch oeuvre, whereas Koreny’s book which was published in 2012 – focusing on drawings, underdrawings, and style – is based on connoisseurship. Koreny corrected pointed out that a great difference in style and technique appears between paintings which have been assigned to the same period by the BRCP. As it is almost impossible to ascertain exactly where the autograph works of Bosch end and the works of his assistants and followers begin, Lafontaine pleads in favour of a combination of the practice of connoisseurship and the interpretation of rigorous scientific data when it comes down to issues of attribution.

 

Koreny does not take into account the complex working practices of a late medieval artist’s workshop and draws a direct correlation  between the author of an underdrawing of a painting and its painter. As a result, he removed the Haywain triptych from Bosch’s autograph oeuvre assigning it to a left-handed assistant of Bosch. Lafontaine suggests that the Prado Haywain was most likely a collaboration between Bosch and one or more of his assistants. Koreny was right when he pointed out the left-handed underdrawing of the angel in the left interior panel, but left-handed underdrawings are not as evident in the rest of the triptych. Therefore, de-attributing the Haywain from the Bosch oeuvre seems a little premature.

 

Lafontaine believes that the number of Bosch works executed with active workshop participation is significantly higher than is listed by the BRCP authors, due to their reluctance to distinguish between different types of underdrawing. While the BRCP is extremely strong in technical analysis, it lacks the expertise in connoisseurship of Koreny, which is revealed in its treatment of the Bosch drawings, which lacks a certain depth of analysis. However, both publications (BRCP 2016 and Koreny 2012) are products of highly trained specialists. If comparative connoisseurship and the interpretation of scientific data are combined, this can lead to a sound methodology of attribution in the near future.

 

[explicit May 4, 2024 – Eric De Bruyn]

Kubies 2023

 

 

“Listening to the angels… or why the Last Judgement from the collection of the Wawel Royal Castle in Cracow was not painted by Jheronimus Bosch” (Grzegorz Kubies) 2023

 

[in: Jos Koldeweij and Willeke Cornelissen (eds.), Jheronimus Bosch – His Workshop and His Followers – 5th International Jheronimus Bosch Conference, May 11-13, 2023, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, 2023, pp. 182-203]

 

 

The art collection of the Wawel Royal Castle in Cracow owns a Boschian Last Judgement triptych (circa 1550), largely inspired by the right interior panel of Bosch’s Garden of Delights triptych. In this essay, Kubies focuses on the representation of the four trumpeting angels in the central panel. In Bosch’s Bruges and Vienna Last Judgement triptychs the angel-trumpeters do not announce the rising of the dead from their graves but the completion of time and punishment. After a long digression dealing with trumpets in the art of Bosch and of other late medieval artists, Kubies concludes that the way in which the angels and their trumpets are rendered in de Cracow triptych differs from how Bosch painted them. That is why the triptych has to be attributed to a Bosch follower. The same goes for the Boschian Last Judgement triptych in de Krona Museum (Uden, The Netherlands).

 

[explicit April 28, 2024 – Eric De Bruyn]

Koreny 2023

 

 

“Jheronimus Bosch, Observations on his painting style” (Fritz Koreny) 2023

 

[in: Jos Koldeweij and Willeke Cornelissen (eds.), Jheronimus Bosch – His Workshop and His Followers – 5th International Jheronimus Bosch Conference, May 11-13, 2023, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, 2023, pp. 168-181]

 

In 2016, the catalogue raisonné published by the Bosch Research and Conservation Project considered twenty Bosch paintings unreservedly autograph, but the different style and technique of some of those pictures (impasto paint application, clearly perceptible relief of the brushstroke, left-handed underdrawing) point to another, second artist with excellent skills, who worked with and alongside Bosch. This collaborator painted the Prado Haywain and the Lisbon St Anthony triptychs. The drastic overpaintings on the Madrid Saint John the Baptist panel and the wings and the donors on the outside of the Prado Adoration of the Magi triptych were also done by him. According to Koreny, this ‘second Bosch’ was also responsible for the Pedlar triptych (Rotterdam, Paris, New Haven, Washington) and the Ghent St Jerome at Prayer panel.

 

[explicit April 28, 2024 – Eric De Bruyn]

Koldeweij 2023

 

 

“Four of the Triptychs by Jheronimus Bosch as ‘exempla iustitiae’ and Albrecht Dürer’s ‘gross beth’” (Jos Koldeweij) 2023

 

[in: Jos Koldeweij and Willeke Cornelissen (eds.), Jheronimus Bosch – His Workshop and His Followers – 5th International Jheronimus Bosch Conference, May 11-13, 2023, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s-Hertogenbosch, 2023, pp. 134-167]

 

 

In Western Europe around 1500, representations of the Last Judgement were almost always present in or close to council chambers and rooms where justice was administered as ‘exempla iustitiae’ (examples of justice). Koldeweij argues that Bosch’s Bruges and Vienna Last Judgement triptychs were not only memorial pieces but also justice paintings. The latter could also be true for the Venice Visions of the Hereafter panels, for Lucas Cranach’s copy of the Vienna Last Judgement (possibly destined for the townhall of Wittenberg) and even for Bosch’s Haywain, Pedlar, and Garden of Delights triptychs. In 1517, this latter triptych was seen in Henry III of Nassau’s Brussels palace by Antonio de Beatis and some years later also by Albrecht Dürer, who both mentioned the presence of a ‘large bed’ in the same palace. Probably this was not a real bed meant for debauchery, but a so-called lit de justice, a ‘bed of state’: a platform covered with precious textiles intended for ceremonial receptions. Possibly this ‘bed’ was placed in the same hall where the Garden and other paintings were on display and which was used for councils and court hearings. De Beatis and Dürer may have misunderstood the French word ‘lit’ which was used by a guide during their tour of the Brussels Nassau Palace.

 

[explicit April 19, 2024 – Eric De Bruyn]

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