CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Call for Papers: Defining boundaries. Jheronimus Bosch, his workshop, and his followers (’s‑Hertogenbosch, 21-23 April 2022)

Jheronimus Bosch remains an exceptionally popular painter and draughtsman. His death in 1516 was commemorated five years ago with major exhibitions in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and in Madrid, which together drew well over one million visitors, an astonishing success. The scholarly interest in the master from ‘s-Hertogenbosch typically focuses on the often-peculiar iconography of some of his works, which historians of art have tried to decipher since the late ninenteenth century. Ever since, the literature on Bosch has grown exponentially. For the scholarly discourse of these paintings and drawings, whether focused on iconography, Bosch’s patrons, or his socioeconomic position in his hometown of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the precise definition of the boundaries of the oeuvre remains a critically important foundation.

The total number of works attributed to Bosch has changed significantly through time. As was the case for many other artists, in early scholarship this group of works was deemed considerably larger than it is now. The often translated and reprinted monographs on Bosch by Charles de Tolnay (1937), Ludwig von Baldass (1943), and Jacques Combe (1946) accepted many more works as “autograph Bosch” than we do today. The monograph by Roger Marijnissen (1987) was an important turning point in this regard, in that it generally took a more critical stand and called for systematic technical research to provide clearer boundaries between the works by Bosch, by his workshop, and by followers. In 2012, Fritz Koreny only accepted 10 paintings and 11 drawings as autograph. The Bosch Research and Conservation Project (BRCP), in 2016, published the findings from its six-year study in a two-volume monograph. The BRCP considers 21 paintings and 20 drawings to be by Bosch. But the discussions about attributions have not ceased since, and the boundaries between the works by Bosch and by his workshop, or between works by the workshop and by his followers, are sometimes hard to draw. For this meeting, we invite proposals for 25-minute presentations on works that can be positioned on, or around, these boundaries. Please send your presentation proposal and xv by email to Ron Spronk (spronkr@queensu.ca). The (hard) deadline for submissions is 1 December 1 2021.

The conference Defining boundaries: Jheronimus Bosch, his workshop, and his followers is supported by the Jheronimus Bosch Art Center (JBAC), the City of ’s‑Hertogenbosch, Het huis van Bosch, and Radboud University Nijmegen. Conference Committee consists of Prof. Dr. Ron Spronk (chair), Prof. Dr. Jos Koldeweij, and Dr. Eric De Bruyn. Defining boundaries: Jheronimus Bosch, his workshop, and his followers will be the fifth international conference organized at the JBAC, after Jheronimus Bosch Revealed: The Painter and His World (2001); Jheronimus Bosch: His Sources (2007); Jheronimus Bosch: His Patrons and His Public (2012) and Jheronimus Bosch: His Life and His Work (2016). The JBAC is a study- and documentation center for the works and the world of Bosch for both specialists and a more general public. At the JBAC, a large, specialized library can be consulted, and reproductions of the entire oeuvre are on display in 1:1 scale.

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