Dear Cleo 18 09 27

Dearest Cleo

I hope you are well and I am looking forward to catching up with you on Saturday morning to see what you have been up to. I have spent a happy week looking at the works of Hieronymus Bosch, they were painted 500 years ago but are surprisingly modern in a surrealistic sense.

Hieronymus Bosch is acknowledged by the surrealists as the first painter of modern art. It is hard not to agree, a detail from The Creation shows two things, firstly the sea creatures emerging from the deep to evolve into land mammals, a concept that was not thought of until Darwin in the nineteenth century, and secondly the house forms a face in profile with a suspiciously Dali like moustache formed by the serpent. If these are two unintentional prophecies then Bosch’s Hell is a place to be truly feared. The reverse wings of The Garden of earthly delights are reminiscent of a Chinese painting. Did Bosch imagine this also?

Figure 1 Detail from The Creation by Hieronymus Bosch.

Figure 2 profile of Salvador Dali

Although Bosch’s work is full of symbolism and allegory it is extremely represantationalist and figurative. All of his works have a narrative element. One of the lesser known facts about Bosch’s work is that he was a supreme landscape artist, the recession and aerial perspective in his landscapes was far better than anything attempted by his contemporaries.

Bosch painted on wooden panels with oil paints as was the custom in the Netherlands at the time, probably the first major development in paints since Stone Age times. His ground was thinner than that of his contemporaries so that in places the grain of the ground shows through the final paintwork. Bosch’s paintings reveal the hand of the artist at work in contrast to the porcelain like finish of his contemporaries

Bosch had a large workshop and many followers so attribution of his work today is difficult but puts his personal work at around 25 pieces, but this is, of course, surrounded in controversy.

Bosch’s Paintings are the stuff of nightmares do not take them to heart, they are the truth of a bygone age when attitudes were entirely different to what they are today. Looking forward to seeing you at the weekend.

My love as always

Mickos xx

Museum Visit

The National Gallery to see Christ Mocked


Bosing ,W. (1987) Hieronymus Bosch c 1450-1516 Between Heaven and Hell . Hohenzollering: Taschen.

Internet research

(all accessed 23. 09 18)

Documentaries viewed

Hieronymus Bosch Art Documentary with Brian Sewell. At: (Accessed 27.09.18)

The Mysteries of Hieronymus Bosch. (Accessed 26.09.18)

Koerner, J.L. (2009) The undpeakable subject of Hieronymus Bosch. At: (Accessed 25.09.18)

Thomas, B. (2018) The Garden of Earthly delights- A Documentary. At:  (Accessed 27.09.18)

Hieronymus Bosch & the delights of hell. At: (Accessed 24.09.18)