Jheronimus Bosch Art Center

Op zoek naar een identiteit? Bosch en Bruegel bieden soelaas

Sellink 2021
Sellink, Manfred
Genre: Non fiction, art history
Uitgave datum: 2021
Bron: de lage landen, vol. 64, nr. 4 (November 2021), pp. 98-107

Sellink 2021



“Op zoek naar een identiteit? Bosch en Bruegel bieden soelaas” (Manfred Sellink) 2021


[in: de lage landen – context bij cultuur in vlaanderen en nederland, vol. 64, nr. 4 (November 2021), pp. 98-107]



The shortened version of a lecture delivered by Manfred Sellink, the (Dutch) head of the Ghent Museum voor Schone Kunsten, in the Ghent town hall on 6th November 2021. Nations and cities often fall back on famous artists from the past to create an identity for themselves and to propagate their ambitions. Since 1900, this has also been the case with Bosch and Bruegel, in the wake of the growing appreciation of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century artists during the second half of the nineteenth century.


Initially, Bosch – living and working in the Duchy of Brabant, just like Bruegel – was considered a late representative of the Flemish Primitives. However, since the Jeroen Bosch: Noord-Nederlandsche Primitieven (Hieronymus Bosch: Northern Netherlandish Primitives) exhibition in 1936, Bosch has been included more and more among the legators of the northern Low Countries, i.e. of the present-day Netherlands. Recently, Bosch has been accepted in the revised version of the Canon of The Netherlands, next to Rembrandt and Van Gogh. Sellink supposes that Bosch will not enter the similar Flemish canon, which is currently being prepared. However, in 2016 the urban pride of Ghent was hurt…


'During a debate in the Ghent Museum voor Schone Kunsten there was some resentment and irritation among the Flemish (in particular Ghent) colleagues because the – Dutch! – Bosch Research and Conservation Project dared to deny the traditional attribution of the Carrying of the Cross to the master' [my translation].


[explicit 9th June 2022 – Eric De Bruyn]

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