Hieronymus Bosch painting discovered in the USA


The Temptation of Saint Anthony, in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City in Missouri in the USA

This photo shows the painting The Temptation of Saint Anthony, in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City in Missouri in the USA; now discovered to have been painted by Hieronymus Bosch.

Translated from Omroep Brabant in the Netherlands:

New painting by Hieronymus Bosch discovered in United States of America

DEN BOSCH – A new work by painter Hieronymus (Jeroen) Bosch has been discovered. This conclude researchers from the Bosch Research and Conservation Project. This Monday they told about their research findings. It is the canvas “The Temptation of Saint Anthony”.

The painting is owned by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in the American city of Kansas City. It was hidden for years in the depot of the US American museum.

The painting from circa 1500-1510 has for decades been attributed to a pupil or follower of Bosch. But it turns out to be by Hieronymus Bosch.

Signatures found with infrared

With infrared technology, researchers have made visible signatures on the keypad. “These signatures dovetail perfectly with what is found on other panels from the core work of Bosch,” the researchers said.

Published: Monday, February 1st, 2016 – 10:37

See also here.

The researchers also claim that the number of drawings attributed to Bosh should rise from 10 to 20.

Detail of painting The Temptation of Saint Anthony, in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City in Missouri in the USA

This photo, via TripAdvisor, is of a detail of another painting about The Temptation of Saint Anthony, also in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City in Missouri in the USA; said to have been painted by 16th century Dutch-Flemish artist Jan Wellens de Cock. Look at the woman’s foot in this detail.

Dutch children’s book on Jeroen Bosch: here. And here.

Dutch museum acquires portrait of 17th century princess


Amalia van Solms portrait by Honthorst

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

Het Loo museum acquires portrait of Amalia of Solms

Palace Het Loo has recently purchased a double portrait by Gerard van Honthorst. It depicts the wife of Stadholder Frederik Hendrik, Amalia of Solms, with a cousin.

The curator of the museum says it it is special that specifically this Honthorst could be purchased. “His portraits of the Orange dynasty are rare on the market,” says curator Hanna Klarenbeek. …

The portrait, in which Princess Von Solms is depicted as hunting goddess Diana and her cousin Charlotte de la Trémoïlle [countess of Derby in England] as [the Roman goddess of agriculture] Ceres, was ordered in 1632 from Honthorst, the favourite painter of the Orange dynasty.

In The Netherlands, there was no monarchical court like in most other European countries then.

There was only the Stadhouder‘s court.

Which would have liked very much to be a princely court like elsewhere in Europe; but constitutionally wasn’t.

Rembrandt got one commission from the princely court (princely, as the Stadhouders were also absolute monarchs in the tiny statelet of Orange in southern France).

But when his portrait of Princess Amalia von Solms, wife of Stadhouder Frederik Hendrik, turned out to be not flattering enough, he never got a commission from that court again.

A Hermitage Amsterdam exhibition notes that Stadhouder Frederik Hendrik prefered painters from the feudal southern Netherlands (now: Belgium), though that region was the military enemy, to “bourgeois” northern painters like Rembrandt. He also prefered Gerard van Honthorst to Rembrandt as a painter of portraits of his wife. Honthorst was not from the Spanish occupied southern Netherlands. However, his home province Utrecht in the central Netherlands was less bourgeois rebellious than Rembrandt’s Holland. And Honthorst had spent much time in feudal Italy.

It hung for years in the princely hunting lodge Honselaarsdijk House in South Holland.

It disappeared around 1795 from the stadholders’ art collection and according to Het Loo for decades it was gone without a trace. In 1951 it surfaced at an auction in London, and then it disappeared again into a private collection. …

The museum plans to hang the work in the bed chamber of Mary II [wife of King of England and Stadholder of Holland Willem III], because there guests were received, as in the original room where the portrait hung in Honselaarsdijk House.

Klarenbeek: “With this painting we can not only show visitors in what showy splendor Amalia and Frederik Hendrik had themselves depicted. They also demonstrate the value which William and Mary attributed to these portraits of their ancestors, by giving them prominent spots in their palaces.”

Hieronymus Bosch, new film on ancient painter


This video says about itself:

Jheronimus Bosch, Touched by the devil – Official Trailer

2 December 2015

This new Dutch film, by Pieter van Huystee, is on late medieval-early Renaissance painter Jheronimus Bosch (or Hieronymus, or Jeroen Bosch) (about 1450 – 9 August 1516).

More precisely, the film is on the complex preparations for having an exhibition to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of the painter in the North Brabant Museum in Den Bosch, the city where he was born and worked.

This 30 November 2015 video is about that exhibition.

The preparations for it were so complex as not one of Bosch’s paintings was in Den Bosch. Most of his work is not in Dutch museums. The biggest collection is in the Prado museum in Madrid. The Spanish King Philip II ruled over the Netherlands until the Dutch revolt and had Bosch paintings brought to Spain. Other work is in Belgium, Italy, France, Germany and the USA.

I went to this film, on 22 January 2016 in a packed cinema.

According to experts, only about 25 paintings are certainly by Bosch. Others may be from Jheronimus Bosch’s workshop (sometimes with more than one artist working at the same painting, like Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder later); or by artists inspired by Bosch.

While preparing the exhibition, researchers found out that some work, attributed to Bosch, cannot have been by the famous master, as the wood was from trees which did not live yet when Bosch died. They also discovered an unknown drawing which Bosch had most probably drawn.

They also discovered what the subject of a Bosch triptych in Venice, Italy was: it depicted a (fictitious) female saint, St. Uncumber, killed by crucifixion.

This video shows some of the research.

Though only about 25 paintings are (almost) certainly by Bosch, he depicted owls scores of times. He definitely knew the differences between owl species, like barn owl and little owl.

Human embracing tawny owl, detail from Bosch's Garden of earthly delights

The film suggests the owls are in the paintings and drawings as symbols of the devil. This superstition about owls was widespread in Europe about 1500. We are not sure whether Bosch shared it.

Bosch also depicted other birds, including the kingfisher and the goldfinch.

His work is full of many details. Because of that, the new research, including macro photography, for the jubilee exhibition was able to make new discoveries.

We know more or less which art is by Bosch. We know something about his life from Den Bosch city records. However, we don’t really know about the connections between his life and his work.

There are not any writings by Bosch about how he saw his work.

Well, maybe there is one: a sentence in Latin above a drawing, about innovating oneself being better than relying on other people’s innovations. Is that Latin sentence by Bosch? We don’t know. We don’t know Hieronymus Bosch’s handwriting.

There may be one other connection between Bosch’s life and art, a Prado museum art historian says in the film. When Hieronymus was small, there was a big fire in Den Bosch. Though it did not burn his home, that fire must have left a big impression on the child. It may explain why there are so often fires in Bosch’s paintings; mainly hellfire.

Like other painters of his age, Bosch often depicted heaven and hell. With more hell and less heaven than his contemporaries. Maybe in this Bosch was a bit similar to actresses today, who prefer playing evil scheming women like Ms Alexis Colby in the Dynasty TV series, to goody two shoes style virtuous roles.

Bosch, like the Latin sentence above the drawing says, was an innovator (which medieval patrons of arts often disliked). Bosch depicted fantasy (eg, half animal, half human) beings never depicted before.

He was one of the first artists to depict common people; not just angels and people at the top of political or church hierarchies.

As Alan Woods points out, Bosch lived in turbulent times, and these times reflect in his art. One year after Bosch died, Martin Luther started the religious Reformation. Already before that, the stability of feudal society had been undermined: by the Black Death plague, by wars, by persecution of ‘witches’, by the rise of the urban bourgeoisie which eventually became rivals of the nobility and Roman Catholic clergy ruling classes.

King Philip II of Spain tried to restore feudal stability by forcibly oppressing the revolt against his rule in the Low Countries. He tried it by concentrating secular and religious power in one hand: his own hand, as absolute monarch ‘by the grace of God’. His El Escorial building, both a palace and a monastery, symbolized this unification of power. Philip brought Jeroen Bosch art to the Escorial, where some of it still is. Alan Woods writes that King Philip II did not understand Jeroen Bosch’s sharp criticism of the powers that be. Bosch’s art says that in choosing between good, leading to paradise, and evil, leading to hell, also many religious and political authorities choose evil and should burn in hell. Among his many depictions of priests, monks and nuns, not one shows these religious people in a favourable light.

Jeroen Bosch, detail of the Garden of earthly delights

This detail of Bosch’s Garden of earthly delights shows a nun with a pig’s body. On the left of the detail is a being, half fantasy animal, half noble knight.

This 20 January 2016 video is about Bosch’s Garden of earthly delights.

A main theme in Bosch’s work is money corrupting people, including popes, monarchs and other elite people. As shown, eg, in his painting The hay wain. Today, in different ways, money still corrupts, helps to kindle flames of wars, etc. That is, according to Woods, why Bosch is still relevant today.

This video series is the BBC documentary Hieronymus Bosch and the delights of hell.

Syrian refugee painter paints for young war victims


This 18 December 2015 video is about Syrian painter Jomard Dirki, now painting while a refugee in the Netherlands.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

“I do it for my country, Syria is my heart.” The 47-year-old artist Jomard Dirki says that with a deep sigh. Three months ago he and his son arrived in the Netherlands after a long and dangerous journey.

“I was fleeing the fighting in Syria. The whole day there was fighting there. For nothing, they’re crazy.” Dirki and his son first stayed in Ter Apel and then moved to a refugee center in Apeldoorn.

There he paints almost every day in the Experience Centre of paint factory Royal Talens. Ten paintings will be up for sale tonight. The money is not for himself but for Serious Request. …

A Dutch radio charity activity

That Dirki can paint now in peace should be a relief for him. Not so long ago he, his wife and two children were fleeing the war in his homeland.

In Lebanon, they hoped to be safe, but the conditions there were very bad. His wife and daughter could stay with a relative in Qatar. Dirki undertook with his son the journey to Europe. Through countries including Turkey and Greece they came to the Netherlands.

including a dangerous part on a rubber boat at sea

Once in Apeldoorn his son saw by chance the Experience Centre of the local paint factory. Father and son were warmly welcomed by manager Daniël Sas, the artist was offered a workspace and materials.

Sas says, “Jomard is not allowed to make money because he does not have official refugee status. When I heard what the purpose was of Serious Request (money for young people in war zones, editor) I’ve discussed it with him. We thought.. How nice would it be for his paintings to serve this worthy cause.”

In six weeks Dirki painted ten works, mostly portraits. Tonight it will be clear for how much they will sell.

Vermeer’s Little Street painting, address found?


Vermeer's Little Street

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

The original location of The Little Street by Johannes Vermeer appears to be at the Vlamingstraat 40-42 in Delft. Until now it was not clear where the famous painting was created. Frans Grijzenhout, Professor of Art History at the University of Amsterdam, says the address has been found.

Grijzenhout consulted for his research records which had been kept exactly how much tax canal house owners had to pay for the deepening of the canals and the maintenance of the wharfs at their doors.

This registry gives the researchers an up to fifteen centimeter accurate picture of the breadth of all the houses and the gates at the time of Vermeer. Thus Grijzenhout discovered two houses at the narrow canal along the Vlamingstraat.

Vlamingstraat now

Much has changed with the buildings of Vlamingstraat 40-42 since the age of Vermeer, as this 2015 photo shows. Basically, only the gate is left. When Vermeer painted, mostly poor refugees from Flanders lived there. The name Vlamingstraat still reminds today about them.