Wednesday, September 25, 2013
A family that paints together
The opening page of my book-to-be about Jheronimus Bosch. The idea is to humanize the man and show him in the context of his time and his family, which consisted of painters. I left out the older generation (his father and three uncles), so this is situated around 1482, when it is up to the three brothers Van Aken to continue the workshop. Nothing is known about the middle brother Jan, so i figured he was the least talented and set to work as an assistant. The oldest, Goessen, has been noted as a master painter and was of course the head of the company. Jheronimus (Joen for short) was the youngest, so that may explain his late mastership despite his extraordinary talent - there was no direct necessity for him to set up his own business at that point. Remarkable is that Goessen's wife Katelijn was also active as a painter, a fact which is known because of invoices paid to her person. Jheronimus's wife Aleid is not pictured here. (she was not a painter) One of the myths around Bosch is that he was some kind of singular genius, working alone. That is a misconception from the 19th century. Artists worked in teams in those days. Always. So one reason why no separate works by the other family members are known, may well be because they participated in the ones known as painted by Bosch.