Jheronimus Bosch Art Center

'De dood en de vrek' van Jheronimus Bosch

Caspers / Caspers 2019
Caspers, Charles and Charlotte Caspers
Genre: Non-fiction, art history
Uitgave datum: 2019
Bron: Matthijs Ilsink et al. (eds.), "Het einde van de middeleeuwen", Nijmegen, 2019, pp. 62-67

Caspers / Caspers 2019



De Dood en de vrek van Jheronimus Bosch” (Charles Caspers en Charlotte Caspers) 2019


[in: Matthijs Ilsink, Bram de Klerck en Annemarieke Willemsen (eds.), Het einde van de middeleeuwen – Vijftig kunstwerken uit de tijd van Bosch en Erasmus. Nijmeegse Kunsthistorische Studies – XXV, Uitgeverij Vantilt, Nijmegen, 2019, pages 62-67]



In Bosch’s panel Death and the miser (Washington) the dying miser gives a sack with money to the devil, whereas the ray of light starting from the crucifix does not reach the dying man. This shows that the devil is victorious: the miser is convinced that he does not have to spend his money on alms but can bequeath all his riches to his inheritors. The authors suggest that the old man standing next to a chest with some letters in it is a pardoner, ‘someone who represents the ecclesiastical authorities and sells certificates to the faithful confirming that their sins will no longer be punished’. The panel’s message boils down to: whoever thinks that he can buy heaven with money, buys hell in the end. Bosch thus proves to be a sharp critic of ecclesiastical abuses.


[explicit 9th August 2023 - Eric De Bruyn]

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