Jheronimus Bosch Art Center

Bosch' zogeheten "Verloren Zoon"

Marijnissen 1976
Marijnissen, R.H.
Genre: Nonfiction, art history
Uitgave datum: 1976
Bron: Taxandria, N.R. XLVIII (1976), pp. 217-224

Marijnissen 1976


“Bosch’ zogeheten ‘Verloren Zoon’” (R.H. Marijnissen) 1976

[in: Taxandria, N.R. XLVIII (1976), pp. 217-224]

[Also mentioned in Gibson 1983: 122 (E283)]


Writing about the Rotterdam Pedlar tondo Marijnissen focuses on a number of passages from contemporary devotional literature. Special attention is paid to the topos of the pilgrimage of life. Quite remarkable is a quote from the Sermones Bernardi in duytssche (Sermons of St. Bernardus in Dutch), printed in Zwolle in 1484 and 1495. This topos is taken from Hebrews XIII: 14. The man Bosch depicted, is not a pilgrim but is that a reason to reject any iconographical link with the theme of the pilgrimage of life?


Of all interpretations that have already been given to the protagonist of the tondo, only the one who sees the man as a pedlar is definitely correct: he is carrying a pedlar’s basket on his back. But with this identification the tondo’s message has not yet been deciphered. Marijnissen is more and more convinced that the essence of Bosch’s argument centers around man’s path of life and the closely related idea of death. The problem seems to be we have to make do with indirect sources.



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