Van den Berselaar/Bedeer 2015
“Kunst van de Lage Landen naar Spanje – Bosch’ werk op transport” (Harry van den Berselaar and Lieve Bedeer) 2015
[in: Bossche Kringen, vol. 2, nr. 6 (November 2015), pp. 62-67]
In the fifteenth and sixteenth century there were many trade relations by sea between the Low Countries and Spain, also including works of art. In 1568 Bosch’s Garden of Delights, at that time owned by William of Orange and located at the Court of Nassau in Brussels, was confiscated by Alva after which the triptych became property of Alva’s bastard son don Hernando de Toledo. When he died, the triptych was purchased by Philip II in 1591. It is not known how the painting was transported from Brussels to Spain. Because the journey by land (via the ‘Camino Español’) was long and heavy, the triptych was probably transported by sea, although this was not without dangers (pirates, storms) either. The journey across the Spanish interior could thus be kept at a minimum.
In the autumn of 1570 a convoy of warships and trading vessels led by don Hernando de Toledo sailed from the Netherlands to Spain. Aboard one of the vessels was Anna of Austria, the future bride of Philip II. Perhaps the Garden of Delights was also transported to Spain on this occasion.
[explicit 1st April 2016]