Hieronymus Bosch by Raoul Hagmann

One of Boschs earlier paintings

Hieronymus Bosch was born on October 2, 1453 in 's- Hertogenbosch, a town near todays Belgium border. He was born named Jheronimus van Aken but later changed it to Hieronymus Bosch. People believe that Bosch learned to paint from one of his four uncles or from his father, Anthonius van Aken. Anthonius was an artistic advisor for the Brotherhood of Our Lady, a very religious group that started in 's-Hertogenbosch which Bosch later joined himself.

Unfortunately, a lot about Bosch is unknown. He had written no letters or diaries, nothing is known about his personality, or his thoughts about art. Even a lot of "his paintings" are unidentified. He actually only signed 7 of his paintings, and never dated any of them. A lot of art is assumed to be his because of the style and technique.

Boschs art was unlike any of the time. Some of his paintings are nightmarish images with demons and strange creatures, others are original interpretations of punishments and torture that had scared and obsessed people of the time. One of his most famous paintings is called The Garden of Earthly Delights.
This is The Gardens of Earthly Delights, which is kept in the Prado Museum, Madrid. The left side of the painting is the creation of life with God, Adam and Eve. The middle is the enjoyment and love of life, with lots of nude humans and animals. The right side of the painting is hell, showing the punishments and torture of man.

No one is sure what caused Bosch to draw such dark pictures. Some say it was because he was pretty old when he painted a lot of his paintings. He was probably thinking about the sins he had committed in his life and whether he was to go to hell or to heaven. When Bosch was thirteen, he witnessed a devestating fire in 's-Hertogenbosch, where 4,000 buildings were destroyed and a lot of people died. This fire might have caused a dramatic effect on Bosch's life and his paintings.

A portrait of Bosch, shortly before his death.

In 1481, Bosch married a wealthy woman named Aleyt Goyaerts van den Meerveen. After their marriage, Hieronymus and Aleyt moved to a nearby town named Oirschat, where Aleyt inherited a house and land. In 1488, Bosch joined The Brotherhood of Our Lady, a religious christian group. On the Ninth of August, 1516 Hieronymus Bosch died. A funeral mass in his memory was held the exact same day at the Church of Saint John.


  1. Renaissance Volume 2 by Grolier
  2. Bosch by Claudia Lyn Cahan
  3. www.bad-penny.gr/bosch/paintings.php?lang=en
  4. www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/bio/b/bosch/biograph.html
  5. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieronymus_Bosch

IF You want to find out more about other artist from the renaissance, check out these pages!
  1. Michelangelo (by Courtney)
  2. Da vinci's paintings (6-2)
  3. BrunelleschiandhisworksEmma6-2