Hieronymus Bosch was born in 1450 in Hertogenbosch, in The Netherlands. He was born as Jeroen Anthonizoon, son of a painter, but later changed his name to Hieronymus Bosch, after the town he hailed from. Growing up in turbulent times in the country, Hieronymus was deeply religious, and it shows in his work, frequently depicting religious scenes and/or metaphors.
Some of Hieronymus Bosch's most notable paintings:
The Garden Of Earthly Delights
Believed to depict the concept of sin and punishment.
Depicting a friar on a hay wagon (hay wain), it depicts the evils of the world.
The Temptation Of St. Anthony
Depicts a hermit saint and the terrifying, inhospitable world surrounding him.
Triptychs and the Brotherhood Of Our Lady
Hieronymus Bosch did many of his works for the Brotherhood Of Our Lady, a church organization. His most famous works tended to be in Triptych format, using one large panel and two smaller panels on each side. This was a common format for altar paintings of the time. The Garden Of Earthly Delights, Temptation Of Saint Anthony, and Haywain were all Triptychs, depicting moral concepts such as sin and punishment. His paintings have been described as "characterized by unusual stylistic originality and an intensly personalized symbolism", and the Triptychs reflect this the best.
In his later years, Bosch moved away from the Triptych format, most notably with Christ Carrying The Cross, widely considered to his most dramatic and emotional work. It depicts Jesus Christ carrying the cross (as depicted in the Bible) in a crowded, cramped, condensed scene, with people surrounding him, sneering at him. It was painted a year before his death in 1516. Bosch did not paint more than 25 or 26 paintings, but there is a sizable community of art historians that study his cryptic and symbolic paintings.
"Hieronymus Bosch." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 31 Jan. 2013.