For a man with only 20 paintings and eight drawings surviving as testament to his talents, Hieronymous Bosch has had a phenomenal influence over the world of fine art. Looking back on his works today it’s almost unthinkable that the Dutch painter produced his masterpieces over half a millennium ago – his canvases are so rich both in technical detail and narrative vision. But Bosch predates the Renaissance pioneers upon whom western culture has lavished extraordinary reverence and arguably outshines with the violent brilliance of his imagination.
Bosch’s paintings feature landscapes riddled with imagery of the most base human desires, alongside renderings of mischievous hell-beasts borrowed from traditional drolleries and the depths of his own imagination. His works serve as allegorical tales created to reflect the fears and preoccupations of his age.
To celebrate the fifth centenary of his death, TASCHEN have produced an epic volume that exhaustively details Bosch’s surviving works and explores his oeuvre with the help of brand new photographs of recently restored paintings and an in-depth critical text from art historian Stefan Fischer. It weighs a tonne, is printed on beautiful paper and reveals much about a man whose influence is still felt in the world today. There’s also ice-skating demons, so even if you’re not a long-term fan there’s something in there for you too!