If you have been in the Fisher Fine Arts Library this fall semester, you may have noticed an exhibit of books in our display cases, on the left-hand side of the reading room. The theme is the 500-year impact of the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. Bosch, who died in 1516, created mainly religious and allegorical works; he is best known for his darkly playful (sometimes downright dark) depictions of creatures and landscapes. Most famously, he created the triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights near the end of the 15th century. Not a great deal is known about the artist’s personal life and there continues to be disagreement regarding the authorship of some works attributed to him. These facts contribute to the mysterious quality of his imagery and legacy.

Poster courtesy of the Kislak Center exhibitions team, based on the title page of Paul Lafond’s Hieronymus Bosch: Son art, son influence, ses disciples (1914), in the Fisher Fine Arts Library’s collections.

The exhibit, “Hieronymus Bosch: 500 Years Later,” was curated by Fisher Fine Arts Library staff Patty Guardiola and Rachael Schechter and installed by the Kislak Center exhibitions team, and runs August 19 to November 11, 2016. Featured are items from the Fine Arts Library’s collections of rare material, recent acquisitions on Bosch, and highlights of some of the artists (mostly Surrealists) who were inspired by
Bosch’s fantastical work. The exhibit highlights the Fisher’s fine arts research collections, situating Penn Libraries in the international discussion of this artistic and historic milestone. The Prado Museum, home to the earlier mentioned triptych, and Het Noordbrabants Museum in Bosch’s hometown, have mounted major exhibitions on the artist this year.

Please contact Patty Guardiola (pguar@upenn.edu) at the Fisher Fine Arts Library if you have questions about the exhibit or any of our library materials. If you haven’t yet, come learn about Hieronymus Bosch in our collections before November 11! And stay tuned to the TRL Blog for new events and announcements.

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