By Gillian Simpson
Hieronymus Bosch was born in 1450 in Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. He spent most of his life there and did not travel very far. He received his training in the arts locally and was a longtime member of the Brotherhood of our Lady which regularly mentioned him in their records. His real name is Jeroen Anthoniszoon.
Some of Bosch's patrons were Philip the Handsome (Archduke of Austria) and the Cathedral of Hertogenbosch. He created paintings that most represented humanism and naturalism. They resemble Humanism because they display many emotions, symbolize ways to improve the world, and many were inspired by manuscripts and popular literature. His paintings are synonymous with Naturalism because they symbolize normal life and the struggles that accompany it, and he uses lighting, textures, tones, and subtlety to convey this.
Some of Bosch's Paintings
Triptych of the Last Judgement
Bosch's Triptych of the Last Judgement was painted around 1500. He did not date his pieces so the exact year is unknown. This painting can be found at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria.
Significance and Analysis
Triptych of the Last Judgement was painted around the same period of Bosch's life as some other famous triptychs he created. He is most known for his works from that time. The triptychs were meant to send a moralizing message, sometimes through the use of religious figures or events. This painting most closely shows the Renaissance "ism" Naturalism because it is an allegory for natural life, war, and hardship. It does not try to perfect the world. Also, Triptych of the Last Judgement uses lighting, textures, and tones. Even though there is a religious figure, he is not interfering with the life below and because during the Renaissance religion was fact not faith, a religious figure would be a part of normal life.
I find this piece interesting because there are many different things happening at once: a man floats within the moon above a desolate battlefield layered with common objects; angels surround him blowing trumpets; and people and animals of various sizes fight, writhe in pain, and hide on the battlefield. I can look at this painting for a long time and still find new details that catch my eye.