Jheronimus Bosch Art Center

Het wereldontwerp van Hiëronymus Bosch

Plokker 1972
Plokker, J.H.
Genre: Nonfiction, art history
Uitgave datum: 1972
Bron: R.-H. Marijnissen et al., "Hiëronymus Bosch", Arcade, Brussels, 1974 (2) (first edition: 1972), pp. 187-210

Plokker 1972


“Het wereldontwerp van Hiëronymus Bosch” (J.H. Plokker) 1972

[in: R.-H. Marijnissen et al., Hiëronymus Bosch, Arcade, Brussels, 1974 (2) (first edition: 1972), pp. 187-210]

[Also mentioned in Gibson 1983: 168 (H62)]


Plokker offers a psychological approach of Bosch: he wants to study Bosch’s personality. But because we know too little about his life and character in order to draw reliable conclusions from them we have to turn to his oeuvre.


This oeuvre breathes the spirit of the Late Middle Ages: materialism and unbelief began to spread and a strong dualism was on the rise. On the one hand there is melancholy, on the other wild exuberance. Three possible reactions to this were: to indulge in earthly things, to doubt or to retire in a monastery or a personal domain (this last reaction combined with loneliness, rationalism, an objective outlook, cynism, misanthropy and contempt of mankind). Bosch chose this latter attitude, probably because he was somewhat predisposed to it but also under the influence of external circumstances (frustration, influence of the Modern Devotion).


As a result, the dominant theme of his art is pessimistic, negative, depressive and didactic (because contemporary preachers used the same means). Bosch is a typical late-medieval preacher: his art is extremely moralizing and admonishing.



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