This exhibition, which demonstrates how the work of the painter Hieronymus Bosch lived on in a multiplicity of ways in prints of the early modern period and even into the 18th century, celebrates the recent acquisition of the triptych “The End of Time, Heaven and Hell” after Bosch. This engraving was published by the Antwerp printmaker Hieronymus Cock, who operated at international level and whose workshop was instrumental in disseminating Bosch’s artistic legacy throughout Europe. A total of 41 individual works and sheets selected from 20 different series of prints are on show. Along with books, paintings, items of treasury art, and decorative objects, they illustrate the significance in various fields of artistic creation of Boschian figures, monsters, demons and fantastic creatures.
The works focus on themes of the virtues and vices of humanity, as well as its dreams and fantasies. While Hieronymus Bosch’s works were originally shaped by Christian-clericalist attitudes, during the Renaissance his panels were regarded as painted prophecies of the collapse of the Christian community of faith and the imminent end of the world. At the same time, his motifs and chimeric creatures inspired a new aesthetic of the grotesque, which challenged the existing boundaries of classical art.