Who was Hieronymus Bosch? Why do his strange and fantastical paintings resonate with art lovers now more than ever? How does he bridge the medieval and Renaissance worlds and continue to influence artists even today?! Where did his unconventional and timeless creations come from? These and other questions were answered in this fascinating film.
The film is based on the critically acclaimed, once-only exhibition which brought together practically all Bosch’s major paintings and drawings from around the world to his home town of Den Bosch, Netherlands.
This is a striking exhibition that saw almost half a million visitors marveling at Bosch’s quirky creations and imagination. The Museum had to remain until after midnight every night.
The exhibition took place in Den Bosch between February and May earlier this year.
Bosch was born in the 1450’s, died 1516 and this exhibition marked the 500th year anniversary since his death.
This great artist is compared to Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo, and his influence has continued through Breughel, the Expressionists and particularly the Surrealists and remains an inspiration for artists even today.
In the most comprehensive collection of his work ever mounted, the small Noordbrabants museum managed to secure loans of 17 of Bosch’s 24 extant paintings and 19 of his 20 drawings. With nothing to offer other museums in exchange for the loans, they instead ´paid them back’ by doing analysis, conservation and restoration of the various rare works. The film depicts some of the processes involved including the xray and infra red technologies used.
The film features insights from highly regarded curators and critics including Peter Greenaway, The Times’ Chief Art Critic Rachel Campbell-Johnston, and the bDirector of the Het Noordbrabants Museum Dr. Charles de Mooij.
The film brings to life and places in context the original form of Bosch’s famous altarpieces, which have long been separated and are now divided between the world’s great museums. It also reveals new discoveries made by the Bosch Research and Conservation Project during preparations for the exhibition, using cutting-edge technology to uncover yet further layers to Bosch’s multifaceted paintings – for example, the donors being painted out in the St Wilgefortis triptych.
What little we know of Bosch’s life is discussed as is his links with the local order of the Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady. We see his statue in his home town. We learn that Bosch became a popular painter and was greatly respected in his lifetime.
Bosch was very religious and a lot of his works tried to express his deeply felt morals and beliefs . We visit Bosch’s local church of St John The Evangelist which he regularly attended and the soundtrack includes some glorious period music sung by Cappella Pratensis.
Some of the paintings are analysed in great detail. For example, we look at the work The Wayfarer and how it is perceived as being allegorical in nature with it being about dealing with earthly temptations.
The Garden Of Earthly Delights, regarded by many of his finest work, was not included in the exhibition, with the painting remaining in the Prado in Madrid in Spain. The film includes it digitally, placing it in context and analysing it in detail.
This exhibition is a striking look at the world of one of art’s foremost creative geniuses.
Running time 90 minutes without interval.
Exhibition on Screen : The Curious World of Heironymus Bosch screens at selected cinemas arthouse cinemas between the 10th and 14th December 2016.