Friday, January 02, 2015

Hieronymus Bosch meets the lumpenproletariat

Much has been said about Bosch being very rich and therefore he could paint whatever he wanted, but this is nonsense. In those times, artists worked on assignments only. And success did not come overnight for Bosch. Only after around 1500, he became an international household name. But even then, it remains unclear how much he was paid for his assignments. I suspect that it may not have been as much as superstar painters like Van der Weyden or Cranach the Elder. What we do know, is that he belonged to the class that paid the most taxes in his city. A telling fact is that he left no money after his death.

By our standards, the life of the rich was not that great, so that of the poor must have been, well, shit.

The resemblance of this composition with that of Martin Schoengauer's Saint Anthony is damn intentional.

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