Jheronimus Bosch Art Center

Hieronymus Bosch - Eine historische Interpretation seiner Gestaltungsprinzipien

Hammer-Tugendhat 1981
Hammer-Tugendhat, Daniela
Serie: Theorie und Geschichte der Literatur und der Schönen Künste - Band 58
Genre: Nonfiction, art history
Aantal pagina's: 256
Uitgever: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich
Uitgave datum: 1981
ISBN: 3-7705-1960-4

Hammer-Tugendhat 1981


Hieronymus Bosch – Eine historische Interpretation seiner Gestaltungsprinzipien (Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat) 1981

[Theorie und Geschichte der Literatuur und der Schönen Künste – Band 58, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, München, 1981, 256 pages]

[Also mentioned in Gibson 1983: 43-44 (D12)]


In the first part of her book Hammer-Tugendhat investigates Bosch’s artistic roots: what are the iconographic and stylistic sources of his earliest works? Her often profound – but not always clarifying – analyses point at a strong influence of Northern Dutch fifteenth-century paintings and miniatures (themselves based on early Eyckian examples) and especially of the Master of the Turin Hours (according to the author not to be identified as Jan van Eyck).


Hammer-Tugendhat also suggests a chronology for Bosch’s early works. The Prado Tabletop of the Seven Deadly Sins is said to be the master’s oldest work that has come down to us.


Occasionally Hammer-Tugendhat offers an iconographic interpretation of Bosch’s paintings and in the last chapters she focuses on Bosch’s relation to the social problems of his times. According to her Bosch was not a pious Catholic moralist (the eroticism in the Garden of Delights is said to contradict this) and although he did not belong to a heretical sect, ‘very likely’ his paintings are influenced by heretical ideas (see Bosch’s criticism of the clergy). His oeuvre also shows traces of humanist ideas but basically his paintings mirror the chaotic and confused society in which they were produced.




  • Walter S. Gibson, in: The Art Bulletin, vol. LXVI, nr. 1 (March 1984), pp. 160-163: In general, she makes a notable attempt to place Bosch’s artistic origins within some sort of context and to characterize systematically the visual and expressive qualities of his early paintings. Especially useful is her demonstration of how these paintings contain the germ of his later style. However much one may quarrel with the details of her thesis, there is no doubt that she has given us a valuable study, one with which all future Bosch scholarship will have to reckon.



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