“Bubo significans. Die Eule als Sinnbild von Schlechtigkeit und Torheit, vor allem in der niederländischen und deutschen Bilddarstellung und bei Jheronimus Bosch. I” (Paul Vandenbroeck) 1985
[in: Jaarboek Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, 1985, pp. 19-135]
In this article Vandenbroeck offers a very extensive analysis of the ‘isolated, single owl’ motif. He promises to treat the ‘owl-with-birds’ motif and the owl of unchastity elsewhere. According to Vandenbroeck Bosch shows a close relationship with an at that moment quite young urban tradition that recruited its communicative means and forms from folkloristic culture, adapting them according to its own ideological needs and insights. With Bosch the single, isolated owl appears in a traditional, pejorative context, but at the same time the bird has a moralizing, intellectualistic function. In the Middle Ages the lucifugous owl is associated with evil, stupidity and folly.