Hieronymus Bosch – Both Trendsetter and Representative of His Time. Reflections on the Significance of His Oeuvre

(Manfred Sellink) THE LOW COUNTRIES - 2016, № 24, PP. 124-133

However tempting (and correct) it may be to position Hieronymus Bosch primarily as a trendsetter and instigator of artistic developments in the sixteenth century, and to name Bruegel in the same breath as his artistic successor, one should never forget that Bosch was every bit as much a typical representative of his own period, rooted intrinsically in the late-medieval urban intellectual and religious (visual) culture in the Low Countries as it rapidly developed from the end of the fourteenth century. The image of Bosch as a brilliant and idiosyncratic eccentric, disconnected from his environment, has long been proved outmoded and untenable. Yet he was an artist who, with his workshop, developed an oeuvre that was as intriguing as it was innovative in the fascinating transition from the 15th to the 16th century; an oeuvre that, due to its astonishing ingenuity and its stylistic and technical mastery, will always be counted as one of the pinnacles of art history.

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