Artist Jheronimus Bosch
Title The Stone Cutting.
Extracting the Stone of Madness.
Removing the rocks in the head.
The Cure of Folly.
The Extraction of the Stone of Madness.
Year between 1488 and 1516
Technique Oil on panel. The Extraction of the Stone of Madness (The Cure of Folly) is a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, completed between 1475 and 1480.
The painting depicts the extraction of the stone of madness, a "keye" (in English a "stone" or "bulb") from a patient's head, using trepanation by a man wearing a funnel hat. In the painting Bosch has exchanged the traditional "stone" as the object of extraction with the bulb of a flower. Another flower is on the table. The inscription reads, "Meester snyt die Keye ras - myne name is lubbert das" (Master, cut away the stone – my name is Lubbert Das). Lubbert Das was a comical (foolish) character in Dutch literature. Interpretations
It is possible that the flower is a pun on "tulip head" - meaning mad in Netherlands. Another possibility is that the flower hints that the doctor is a charlatan as does the funnel hat. The woman balancing a book on her head is thought by Skemmer to be a satire of the Flemish custom of wearing amulets made out of books and scripture, a pictogram for the word phylactery. Otherwise, she is thought to depict folly. This painting, and others by Bosch, were an inspiration to the works of the seminal Punk musicians Wire. On their album, "The Ideal Copy", they included a track titled "Madman's Honey" which included the lyric "master cut the stone out, my name is Lubbert Das" -- a direct reference to this Bosch painting. 10,000's more art prints available - CLICK
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Hieronymus Bosch ; born Jeroen Anthoniszoon van Aken ; c. 1450 – buried August 9, 1516) was an Early Netherlandish painter. The artist's work is well-known for the use of fantastic imagery to illustrate moral and religious concepts and narratives.
Hieronymus Bosch was born Hieronymus (or Jeroen, respectively the Latin and not Middle Dutch form of the name "Jerome") van Aken (meaning "from Aachen"). He signed a number of his paintings as Bosch (pronounced Boss in Middle Dutch). The name derives from his birthplace, 's-Hertogenbosch, which is commonly called "Den Bosch".
Little is known of Bosch’s life or training. He left behind no letters or diaries, and what has been identified has been taken from brief references to him in the municipal records of 's-Hertogenbosch, and in the account books of the local order of the Brotherhood of Our Lady. Nothing is known of his personality or his thoughts on the meaning of his art. Bosch’s date of birth has not been determined with certainty. It is estimated at c. 1450 on the basis of a hand drawn portrait (which may be a self-portrait) made shortly before his death in 1516. The drawing shows the artist at an advanced age, probably in his late sixties.
Bosch was born and lived all his life in and near ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the capital of the Duchy of Brabant. His grandfather, Jan van Aken (died 1454), was a painter and is first mentioned in the records in 1430. It is known that Jan had five sons, four of whom were also painters. Bosch’s father, Anthonius van Aken (died c. 1478) acted as artistic adviser to the Brotherhood of Our Lady. It is generally assumed that either Bosch’s father or one of his uncles taught the artist to paint, however none of their works survives. Bosch first appears in the municipal record in 1474, when he is named along with two brothers and a sister.
's-Hertogenbosch was a flourishing city in fifteenth century Brabant, in the south of the present-day Netherlands at the time part of Spain . In 1463, 4,000 houses in the town were destroyed by a catastrophic fire, which the then (approximately) 13-year-old Bosch may have witnessed. He became a popular painter in his lifetime and often received commissions from abroad. In 1488 he joined the highly respected Brotherhood of Our Lady, an arch-conservative religious group of some 40 influential citizens of 's-Hertogenbosch, and 7,000 'outer-members' from around Europe.
Some time between 1479 and 1481, Bosch married Aleyt Goyaerts van den Meerveen, who was a few years older than the artist. The couple moved to the nearby town of Oirschot, where his wife had inherited a house and land, from her wealthy family.
An entry in the accounts of the Brotherhood of Our Lady records Bosch’s death in 1516. A funeral mass served in his memory was held in the church of Saint John on 9 August of that year.
Bosch produced several triptychs. Among his most famous is the so-called The Garden of Earthly Delights. This painting, for which the original title has not survived, depicts paradise with Adam and Eve and many wondrous animals on the left panel, the earthly delights with numerous nude figures and tremendous fruit and birds on the middle panel, and hell with depictions of fantastic punishments of the various types of sinners on the right panel. When the exterior panels are closed the viewer can see, painted in grisaille, God creating the Earth. These paintings—especially the Hell panel—are painted in a comparatively sketchy manner which contrasts with the traditional Flemish style of paintings, where the smooth surface—achieved by the application of multiple transparent glazes—conceals the brushwork. In this painting, and more powerfully in works such as his Temptation of St. Anthony (Lisbon), Bosch draws with his brush. Not surprisingly, Bosch is also one of the most revolutionary draftsmen in the history of art, producing some of the first autonomous sketches in Northern Europe.
Bosch never dated his paintings. But—unusual for the time—he seems to have signed several of them (other signatures are certainly not his). Fewer than 25 paintings remain today that can be attributed to him. In the late sixteenth-century, Philip II of Spain acquired many of Bosch's paintings, including some probably commissioned and collected by Spaniards active in Bosch's hometown; as a result, the Prado Museum in Madrid now owns The Garden of Earthly Delights, the circular tabletop of The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, the The Haywain Triptych and The Stone Operation.
In the twentieth century, when changing artistic tastes made artists like Bosch more palatable to the European imagination, it was sometimes argued that Bosch’s art was inspired by heretical points of view (e.g., the ideas of the Cathars and putative Adamites) as well as of obscure hermetic practices. Again, since Erasmus had been educated at one of the houses of the Brethren of the Common Life in S-Hertogenbosch, and the town was religiously progressive, some writers have found it unsurprising that strong parallels exist between the caustic writing of Erasmus and the often savage painting of Bosch. "Although the Brethren remained loyal to the Pope, they still saw it as their duty to denounce the abuses and scandalous behaviour of many priests: the corruption which both Erasmus and Bosch satirised in their work". Others, following a strain of Bosch-interpretation datable already to the sixteenth-century, continued to think his work was created merely to titillate and amuse, much like the "grotteschi" of the Italian Renaissance. While the art of the older masters was based in the physical world of everyday experience, Bosch confronts his viewer with, in the words of the art historian Walter Gibson, "a world of dreams [and] nightmares in which forms seem to flicker and change before our eyes." In one of the first known accounts of Bosch’s paintings, in 1560 the Spaniard Felipe de Guevara wrote that Bosch was regarded merely as "the inventor of monsters and chimeras". In the early seventeenth century, the Dutch art historian Karel van Mander described Bosch’s work as comprising "wondrous and strange fantasies"; however, he concluded that the paintings are "often less pleasant than gruesome to look at."
In recent decades, scholars have come to view Bosch’s vision as less fantastic, and accepted that his art reflects the orthodox religious belief systems of his age. His depictions of sinful humanity, his conceptions of Heaven and Hell are now seen as consistent with those of late medieval didactic literature and sermons. Most writers attach a more profound significance to his paintings than had previously been supposed, and attempt to interpret it in terms of a late medieval morality. It is generally accepted that Bosch’s art was created to teach specific moral and spiritual truths in the manner of other Northern Renaissance figures, such as the poet Robert Henryson, and that the images rendered have precise and premeditated significance. According to Dirk Bax, Bosch’s paintings often represent visual translations of verbal metaphors and puns drawn from both biblical and folkloric sources. However, the conflict of interpretations that his works still elicit raise profound questions about the nature of "ambiguity" art of his period.
Some writers see Bosch as a proto-type medieval surrealist, and parallels are often made with the twentieth century Spanish artist Salvador Dali. Other writers attempt to interpret his imagery using the language of Freudian psychology. However, such theses are commonly rejected; according to Gibson, "what we choose to call the libido was denounced by the medieval church as original sin; what we see as the expression of the subconscious mind was for the Middle Ages the promptings of God or the Devil."
The artist Susan Dorothea White has produced contemporary interpretations of Bosch's compositions - The Crowning with Sexism combines iconographic images of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, and The Seven Deadly Sins of Modern Times and The Seven Deadly Isms, both on circular tables, depict contemporary sins and obsessions.
The exact number of Bosch's surviving works has been a subject of considerable debate. He signed only seven of his paintings, and there is uncertainty whether all the paintings once ascribed to him were actually from his hand. It is known that from the early sixteenth century onwards numerous copies and variations of his paintings began to circulate. In addition, his style was highly influential, and was widely imitated by his numerous followers.
Over the years, scholars have attributed to him fewer and fewer of the works once thought to be his, and today only 25 are definitively ascribed to him.
EARLY NETHERLANDISH PAINTING
Early Netherlandish painting is the work of those painters who were active in the Low Countries during the 15th and early 16th century Northern renaissance, especially in the flourishing cities of Bruges and Ghent. It begins approximately with the career of Jan van Eyck, who was already championed as the "new Apelles" of northern European painting by Karel van Mander at the turn of the 17th century, and ends with Gerard David around 1520.
The period corresponds to the early and high Italian Renaissance, but it is seen as an independent artistic culture from the Renaissance humanism that characterises simultaneous developments in central Italy. Because Early Netherlandish painters embody both the culmination of Mediaeval artistic heritage in northern Europe and respond to Renaissance ideals, their art is categorized as belonging to both the Early Renaissance and the Late Gothic.
The painting of the period made significant advances in illusionism, following the highly detailed works of Jan van Eyck, and often features complex iconography. Subjects are mostly iconic religious scenes or small portraits; narrative painting is far rarer than in Italy, as are mythological figures.
Early Netherlandish painting and painters are known in a variety of ways, with Late Gothic and the Flemish Primitives remaining other common designations. Some art historians also use the term Ars nova ("new art"), which has its source in music history. "Late Gothic", for instance, emphasizes the continuity with the Middle Ages. "Flemish Primitives", on the other hand, is a traditional art historical term that came into fashion in the 19th century and is still a primary label in other languages such as Dutch, Spanish and French (from which it originally came into English). "Primitives" in this case, does not refer to a lack of sophistication; instead, it identifies the artists as the origin of a new tradition in painting, one noted, for example, with the use of oil paint, instead of tempera. Following the lead of Max Jakob Friedländer, Erwin Panofsky, Otto Pächt, and other German language scholarship, however, English-language art historians more generally discuss the period as "Early Netherlandish painting" (German: Altniederländische Malerei).
During the 15th to mid 16th centuries the modern national borders of France, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands did not exist. Flanders, which now specifically refers to distinct parts of Belgium, and other areas of the region were under the control of the Dukes of Burgundy and, later, the Habsburg dynasty. Because Bruges and Ghent—both Flemish cities—were the main centres of international banking, trade, and art in the region, painters and merchants, not all of whom were actually locally-born, congregated in them. Consequently, Flemish and Netherlandish (that is, "of the Low Countries") became interchangeable terms based on the location of the dominant cities. Moreover, art historians often include the artistic traditions of Cologne and other Lower Rhine centres within the same context, or note that painters like Geertgen tot Sint Jans were active in the northern Netherlands and not Flanders. A further point of contention, one that still poses issues in Belgium, are the linguistically-French origins of many painters, such as Rogier van der Weyden. The German Hans Memling and the Estonian Michael Sittow are examples of immigrant artists who worked in the Netherlands in a fully Netherlandish style. The use of the term "Early Netherlandish painting", as well more general descriptors like "Ars nova" and the highly-inclusive "Northern Renaissance art", subsequently allows for an broader geographical base for the artists associated with the period than the more inclusive "Flemish". Also, like the concept of the Italian Renaissance itself, it stresses the birth of a new age rather than the culmination of an old one.
The new style emerged in Flanders almost simultaneously with the beginning of the Italian Renaissance. The masters were very much admired in Italy, and may have had a bigger influence in Italy than the other way around in the 15th century. For example, Hugo van der Goes's Portinari Altarpiece played an important role in introducing Florentine painters to trends in the north, and artists like Antonello da Messina probably came under the influence of Netherlandish painters working in Sicily, Naples and later Venice. Early Netherlandish painters were not immune to the innovations in art that were occurring south of the Alps, however. Jan van Eyck, for example, might have travelled to Italy around 1426 to 1428, a trip that would have affected his work on the Ghent Altarpiece, and the international importance of cities like Bruges meant a great influx of foreign influence.
Religious paintings—church decoration or altarpieces for churches and private use, for example—remained popular subjects in both Early Netherlandish and Italian Renaissance painting. The role of Renaissance humanism, however, was not as strong in the north as it was in Italy. Instead, local trends, such as Devotio Moderna are more apparent and had an impact on the subject and format of many artworks. For example, emphasis on the suffering of Christ and other emphatic subject matter was more popular.
Like Florence, where banking and trade led to numerous private commissions, wealthy merchants commissioned religious paintings for private devotion (often including themselves in the form of donor portraits) as well as secular portraits. Additionally, the presence of the Burgundian court, like the situation in Urbino and other Italian cities, allowed court artists to flourish. Painters were also increasingly self-aware of their position in society: they signed their works more often, painted self portraits, and become well-known figures because of their artistic activities alone.
One of the most obvious differences is the influence of classical antiquity. It is far less pronounced in the north, only fully entering Netherlandish painting in the 16th century. Moreover, while in Italy we see radical changes in architecture, sculpture and philosophy as well, the revolution in Netherlandish art is largely restricted to painting. Gothic architecture, for example, remains the dominant style through the 16th century, and even informs the local style of Italian Renaissance architecture when the Italian influences do eventually appear.
As Bruges diminished as an artistic center around 1500, and Antwerp's position increased, one manifestation of the shift is seen in the artists identified as Antwerp Mannerists. Although largely anonymous, and only active from about 1500 to 1530, they mark the end of Early Netherlandish painting and instigate the shift to the next stage. The Antwerp Mannerists are so-called because, although incorporating Italian influence, they were thought to represent a "latent Gothic" still informed by Netherlandish traditions of the preceding century.
For painting in the period after about 1500 and before the Dutch Revolt, see Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting.
Painting is a mode of expression and the forms are numerous. Drawing, composition or abstraction
and other aesthetics may serve to manifest the expressive and conceptual intention of the
practitioner. Paintings can be naturalistic and representational (as in a still life or
landscape painting), photographic, abstract, be loaded with narrative content, symbolism,
emotion or be political in nature. Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or
other medium to a surface (support base). In art, the term describes both the act and the
result, which is called a painting. Paintings may have for their support such surfaces as walls,
paper, canvas, wood, glass, lacquer, clay or concrete. Paintings may be decorated with gold
leaf, and some modern paintings incorporate other materials including sand, clay, and scraps of
paper. A portion of the history of painting in both Eastern and Western art is dominated by
spiritual motifs and ideas; examples of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting
mythological figures on pottery to Biblical scenes rendered on the interior walls and ceiling of
The Sistine Chapel, to scenes from the life of Buddha or other scenes of eastern religious
Among the continuing and current directions in painting at the beginning of the 21st century are
Monochrome painting, Hard-edge painting, Geometric abstraction, Appropriation, Hyperrealism,
Photorealism, Expressionism, Minimalism, Lyrical Abstraction, Pop Art, Op Art, Abstract
Expressionism, Color Field painting, Neo-expressionism, Collage, Intermedia painting, Assemblage
painting, Computer art painting, Postmodern painting, Neo-Dada painting, Shaped canvas painting,
environmental mural painting, traditional figure painting, Landscape painting, Portrait
painting, and paint-on-glass animation.
Developments in Eastern painting historically parallel those in Western painting, in general, a
few centuries earlier. African art, Islamic art, Indian art, Chinese art, and Japanese art each
had significant influence on Western art, and, eventually, vice-versa.
The oldest known paintings are at the Grotte Chauvet in France, claimed by some historians to be
about 32,000 years old. They are engraved and painted using red ochre and black pigment and show
horses, rhinoceros, lions, buffalo, mammoth or humans often hunting. However the earliest
evidence of painting has been discovered in two rock-shelters in Arnhem Land, in northern
Australia. In the lowest layer of material at these sites there are used pieces of ochre
estimated to be 60,000 years old. Archaeologists have also found a fragment of rock painting
preserved in a limestone rock-shelter in the Kimberley region of North-Western Australia, that
is dated 40 000 years old. There are examples of cave paintings all over the world—in France,
Spain, Portugal, China, Australia, India etc.
In Western cultures oil painting and watercolor painting are the best known media, with rich and
complex traditions in style and subject matter. In the East, ink and color ink historically
predominated the choice of media with equally rich and complex traditions.
Different types of paint are usually identified by the medium that the pigment is suspended or
embedded in, which determines the general working characteristics of the paint, such as
viscosity, miscibility, solubility, drying time, etc.
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