Jheronimus Bosch Art Center

Jheronimus Bosch and the Renaissance in Europe

Aikema 2023
Aikema, Bernard
Genre: Non fiction, art history
Uitgave datum: 2023
Bron: J. Koldeweij and W. Cornelissen (eds.), "Jheronimus Bosch - His Workshop and His Followers", 's-Hertogenbosch, 2023, pp. 10-27

Aikema 2023



“Jheronimus Bosch and the Renaissance in Europe” (Bernard Aikema) 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. 10-27]



Aikema argues that ‘Boschian’ imagery is a major example of what may be called an ‘alternative Renaissance’, not based on the revival of classical Antiquity and the ‘discovery’ of the individual but rather on the exploration of new ways of expression, including flights of fantasy and, in general terms, a pluralistic view of the world as it appears in its various and often contradictory forms. Key words to capture this attitude are fantasia and curiositas. The ‘alternative Renaissance’ is a European phenomenon, manifesting itself strongly in both the Mediterranean world and in Habsburg-dominated Central Europe. Against this background, we may understand the sixteenth-century apparition of Boschian monsters, dreamlike visions, firebrands, and grotesques in ‘tapestry-like’ compositions and with great attention to (naturalistic) detail.


It may be observed that in this contribution the terms ‘Boschian inspiration’, ‘in the manner of Bosch’ and the like are sometimes used in a very broad sense.


[explicit April 4, 2024 – Eric De Bruyn]

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