“Ter verklaring van Bosch en Bruegel” (Jan Grauls) 1939/40
[in: Gentsche Bijdragen tot de Kunstgeschiedenis, VI (1939/40), pp. 139-160]
[Also mentioned in Gibson 1983: 98 (E151)]
Jan Grauls is the first Bosch scholar to relate the late-fifteenth-century Middle Dutch poem Van den Hopper Hoeys [About the Haystack] to the Haywain triptych. The poem itself had already been published by Napoleon De Pauw in Middelnederlandsche Gedichten en Fragmenten (third delivery, Ghent, 1897, p. 665). The manuscript in which the poem can be found, is preserved in Brussels (Royal Library, Manuscript Collection, Hs. 837-845, fol. 123v-124v). According to Dr. Fr. Lyna (the then curator of the Manuscript Collection) the manuscript can be dated circa 1470. If this is correct, it proves that the hay motif in the Netherlands was already known before Bosch concipiated his triptych. In the poem the earthly goods are compared to eenen hopper hoeys (a haystack).
Grauls also signals that there is a Haywain in the collection of tapestries of the Royal House in Spain.
The poem Van den Hopper Hoeys can be found in the so-called Geraardsbergse Handschrift, the second part of a convolute that was written between the years 1460 and 1470, probably in Geraardsbergen (Belgium). Meanwhile a modern diplomatic edition has been published: Marie-José Govers et al. (eds.), Het Geraardsbergse handschrift. Hs. Brussel, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, 837-845, Middeleeuwse Verzamelhandschriften uit de Nederlanden – deel I, Verloren, Hilversum, 1994, pp. 77-79.
About this poem, see also De Bruyn 2001a: 56-58.