Hieronymus Bosch – Ein Vortrag (Max J. Friedländer) 1941
[L.J.C. Boucher, The Hague, 1941, 35 pages]
[Also mentioned in Gibson 1983: 43 (D8)]
The text of this lecture was reprinted in the catalogue of the 1967 ’s-Hertogenbosch Bosch Exhibition (see Cat. ’s-Hertogenbosch 1967: 17-34).
Bosch can hardly be connected with Netherlandish painting circa 1480. Most likely his art had its roots in manuscript illumination. The subjects of Bosch’s dreams were: the Passion of Christ, evil, the dull-wittedness of Christ’s tormentors, the vanity and transitoriness of earthly things, hell with its instruments of torture, temptation to which the saints can hardly resist. Undoubtedly Bosch’s contemporaries considered his creations moral sermons.
Did Bosch really believe in his devils? A tormented soul would probably not have had the courage and the pleasure to explore the infernal as Bosch did. Apparently, Hieronymus liked to represent the dark side of Christian ideology.