Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the devil

In preparation for an exhibit featuring the work of 15th century  Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch, a team of Dutch scholars, technicians and experts from the Bosch research and conservation project have the daunting task of assembling the remaining paintings and drawings from several museum. El Prado museum in Madrid owns probably most of Bosch’s masterpieces, but are not necessary happy to lend them. The exhibit Hieronymus Bosch – Visions of genius was held in 2016 at the Noordbrabants museum in the town of ‘s-Hertogenbosch in The Netherlands. Bosch mostly painted on triptychs, made of three panels hinged together, two smaller side panels folding atop a larger middle panel. The scholars are spending most of the time studying every paintings to assure its place in the exhibit. After many years of research The temptation of Saint Anthony is attributed to have done by Bosch. You could look at Bosch’s paintings and never get bored. There are so many details Even today his work feels, to the uneducated eyes, like the earliest sign of avant-garde. But what do I know about art? But Hieronymus Bosch’s work is fascinating to study as it contains disturbingly bizarre characters. For instance, one panel from The garden of earthly delights is called Hell. It is full of sexual and violent imageries. Every humans are naked and are either harassed by clothed animals and weird creatures or pierced by arrows and knives. Humans are tied to a giant harp, a man is hanging from giant key that itself is hanging from a metal spear. A person is being swallowed by a bird-like creature. I would say this is what hell looks like. The finishing touches of Hell were put in 1505, but it looks like a modern painting to me. I would have liked to see more of his work, but Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the devil seemed more interested with the scholars than with the master. I think it is a mistake, when you do a documentary about a great artist, to look at it mostly from an intellectual angle. Any works of art that has been around for the last 500 years, should be accessible to all. I wanted to know more about Bosch, his life and how his contemporaries reacted to his paintings. Instead, I found the film boring. But I had a good nap.

Rémi-Serge Gratton

Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the devil

Directed by:

Pieter van Huystee

Screenplay by:

Pieter van Huystee

86 min.

In English, Dutch, Spanish, and Italian with English subtitles




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