Hieronymus Bosch

The world famous brilliant forerunner of surrealism was, in his day, unique and radically different. Hieronymus (Jeroen for short) Bosch was born (ca. 1450-1516) during the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, in the Duchy of Brabant. Bosch places visionary images in a hostile world full of mysticism, with the conviction that the human being, due to its own stupidity and sinfulness has become prey to the devil himself. He holds a mirror to the world with his cerebral irony and magical symbolism, sparing no one. He aims his mocking arrows equally well at the hypocrisy of the clergy as the extravagance of the nobility and the immorality of the people. Hieronymus Bosch’s style arises from the tradition of the book illuminations (manuscript illustrations from the Middle Ages). The caricature representation of evil tones down its terrifying implications, but also serves as a defiant warning with a theological basis.