Jheronimus Bosch Art Center

La famille Scheyfve et Jérôme Bosch

Duquenne 2004
Duquenne, Xavier
Genre: Nonfiction, art history
Uitgave datum: 2004
Bron: L'Intermédiaire des Généalogistes, nr. 349 (January-February 2004), pp. 1-19

Duquenne 2004


“La famille Scheyfve et Jérôme Bosch” (Xavier Duquenne) 2004

[in: L‘Intermédiaire des Généalogistes, nr. 349 (January-February 2004), pp. 1-19]


Thanks to his genealogical research on the Scheyfve family, an Antwerp family of patricians flourishing in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, Duquenne was able to identify the donor on the left inner wing of Bosch’s Adoration of the Magi (Madrid, Prado) as Peeter Scheyfve, an Antwerp draper who died in 1506. This identification is based on the coat of arms and on the heraldic device which, together with his patron saint (St. Peter), accompany the donor on the left wing. Peeter Scheyfve was dean of the Antwerp drapers’ guild, from 1495 till 1504 he was the Antwerp municipal treasurer and in 1505 he was an Antwerp elderman. In 1509 his heritage was divided among his children. Peeter’s first wife was called Barbele van Woelputte, who died in or before 1491. They had one son, named Jan. Peeter’s second wife was Agnes de Gramme, who died around 1497 without posterity. Agnes was the daughter of Peeter de Gramme, from 1493 till 1496 and from 1502 till 1505 municipal treasurer of the city of Antwerp. Thanks to her coat of arms the female donor on the right inner wing of the Prado Adoration can be identified as this Agnes de Gramme. Peeter Scheyfve married a third time to Maria van der Merwede (from Dordrecht in Holland). Peeter and Maria had three daughters: Petronille, Maria and Margriet.


In 1505-1506 Peeter de Gramme legated his complete fortune to his grandson Jan Scheyfve (Peeter’s son from his first marriage) who probably was a knight in the Order of Jerusalem or of Malta. From 1516 till 1519 Jan was an Antwerp elderman. He died in 1548. Duquenne suggests that the two donors on the closed wings of the Prado Adoration (an elderly man and a young boy who were apparently added later) are Peeter de Gramme and the young Jan Scheyfve. Because Jan became Peeter de Gramme’s heir in 1505-1506 Duquenne suggests that these two donors were added around 1507.


In the past the donors on Bosch’s Prado Adoration were identified as Peter van Bronchorst and Agnes van Boschuysen, based on an archival source about the confiscation (in 1567) of an Adoration of the Magi triptych by Bosch possessed by Jean de Casembroot. But Peter van Bronchorst and Agnes van Boschuysen never existed (Jean’s parents-in-law were called Andries van Bronchorst and Wendelmoet van Boschuysen), the Prado Adoration is not the same as the triptych mentioned in the archival source and the former identification of the donors on the Prado triptych as Peter van Bronchorst and Agnes van Boschuysen has to be considered as disproven from now on. Duquenne signals that the Bronchorst-Boschuysen identification has been contested several times from 1893 on, but only weakly. In 1964 Duquenne already informed the Prado museum about the results of his genealogical research, but he did not get any reply.


Duquenne concludes that Bosch’s Prado Adoration can be dated between 1491 (death of Peeter Scheyfve’s first wife) and 1498 (Agnes de Gramme died around 1497). Furthermore the identification of the donors establishes an early link between Bosch and the city of Antwerp and is further proof of the fact that some of Bosch’s patrons were rich patricians. Finally there should be further research on the origin and fate of the Adoration triptych which belonged to Jean de Casembroot. The archives of Jean de Casembroot and his wife Wilhelmine van Bronchorst can be consulted in the National Archives in Brussels.


This little-known article, written in French and hidden in an obscure magazine, is one of the most important texts that have been published about Bosch during the last twenty years.


[explicit 27th September 2012]

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