“Jheronimus van Aken, zijn leven en werkzaamheden in ’s-Hertogenbosch” (Ester Vink) 2001
[in: Jan van Oudheusden and Aart Vos (eds.), De Wereld van Bosch. Historisch ABC – Archeologie Bouwhistorie en Cultuur ’s-Hertogenbosch – volume 4, Adr.Heinen, ’s-Hertogenbosch, 2001, pp. 74-95]
Since the first archival research in the nineteenth century systematical research has resulted in a large number of new facts and data. Vink offers a survey of these facts and data but does not add anything really new to them.
- Hieronymus’ ancestors lived in Nimeguen and then moved to ’s-Hertogenbosch where grandfather Jan continued the painting tradition of his family, as was also done by his sons Goessen and Anthonis.
- Hieronymus married Aleid van de Meervenne who brought a house at the Marketplace into the marriage (represented in the famous painting The Clothmaker’s Market, today: the premises Marketplace 61).
- In 1487/88 Bosch became a sworn brother of the Confraternity of Our Lady, as is proven by an entry in the accounts of the confraternity. It is noteworthy that Bosch’s name (Jeroen Maelder = Jeroen the Painter) has only been added in the margin, which was a unique thing in the accounts of those years.
- The accounts of 1491/92 have an entry about work on a board listing the names of living and deceased sworn brothers. Noteworthy: Bosch is referred to as Joen and that’s it. Vink concludes that apparently Bosch was a close acquaintance of the clerk who was responsible for the accounts.
- In 1481 Bosch’s brother Goessen was ordered to paint the wings of the altarpiece of the high altar in St John’s between 30th June 1481 and 1st October 1482. In the sixteenth century Bosch is reported to have been the painter of the altarpiece: apparently he had cooperated with his brother or Goessen had left the work to Hieronymus.
- In 1487 Bosch painted a cloth and a deerhorn in a hall of the Table of the Holy Spirit (the Geefhuis).
- In the confraternity’s accounts of 1545/46 Hieronymus is referred to as the painter of the wings of the altarpiece in the chapel of the Confraternity of Our Lady. These wings were delivered to the confraternity by Goyart Cuper in 1488/89.
At the end of her contribution Vink criticizes the frequently heard suggestion that Bosch was out of place in a small city like ’s-Hertogenbosch. But circa 1500 it was one of the largest cities of what is now called the Netherlands and ’s-Hertogenbosch had relations with the whole world as it was then known: why would Bosch have felt out of place there?