CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Jheronimus Bosch revealed? The painter and his world

Exhibition: 5 November 2001 - 7 November 2002


Jos Koldeweij, Paul Vandenbroeck and Bernard Vermet

From September 1st to November 11th, 2001 the exhibition Jheronimus Bosch will take place at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. This has prompted the town of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the place where this important medieval painter lived, to proclaim 2001 as ‘Jeroen Bosch jaar’, Year of Jheronimus Bosch.

A number of events will take place throughout the year: musical performances, plays, dances, films and exhibitions. For the first time a three-day international Congress is to be organised on the subject of this famous artist. Scientists will discuss the results of recent research concerning the painter and his world.

In the last 500 years many people have tried to interpret the messages that must be hidden behind the mysterious figures and objects in Bosch’s paintings. Some proclaim him to be the first surrealist. Others maintained that he was an alchemist or a member of a sect of streakers. The fact is that his paintings evoke a whole range of emotions.

Details about his life are scarce. This and the mystic character of his paintings represent a constant source of speculation. Nevertheless, scientific research is enabling us to gain a better understanding of the world of Bosch.

The main part of the Congress will be held in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the town where Bosch was probably born, certainly lived and worked and where he more than likely died. The Congress will start in Rotterdam at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The first round of discussions will take place in close proximity to the exhibited paintings of the master himself.


There will be plenary and parallel sessions. A panel discussion with the lecturers will mark the end of the Congress.

Day 1. Monday November 5th, 2001
Location: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
09.30 am – 10.30 am Report at the reception desk to receive badge and Congress map. There will be coffee and/or tea.
10.30 am – 11.15 am

  • Opening speech by Hugo Bongers, Managing Director of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen;
  • Welcoming speech by Dr. Jos Koldeweij, Professor in the History of Art at the Katholieke Universiteit in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and responsible for the Jheronimus Bosch-exhibition
  • Introduction to the exhibition by Drs. Bernard Vermet, honorary curator of the Jheronimus Bosch-exhibition.

11.15 am – 11.30 am Coffee and/or tea.
11.30 am -3.00 p.m. Luncheon (included). Visit to the exhibition (included).
3.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Panel discussion with the producers of the exhibition: Dr. Paul Vandenbroeck, Drs. Bernard Vermet, Prof. Dr. Jos Koldeweij and Drs. Matthijs Ilsink.
4.00 p.m. Departure to the hotels in ‘s-Hertogenbosch by coach. Location: Theater aan de Parade, ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
7.00 p.m. – 8.45 p.m. Dinner buffet (Not included in the congress costs. Extra costs Dfl. 81,54 (Euro 37).
8.30 p.m. – 9.00 p.m. Reception, coffee and/or tea; also open to the public.
21.00 p.m. – 22.30 p.m.

  • Opening speech by Drs. Rolf Hage, Town Archivist of ‘s-Hertogenbosch;
  • Public speech by Prof. Dr. Jos Koldeweij.
  • Music from the times of Jheronimus Bosch performed by Marcel Grotens (bagpipes), Reine-Marie Verhagen c.s. (flute, lute a/o).

10.30 p.m. – 11.30 p.m. Drinks, with the compliments of the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Only for Congress participants.

Day 2. Tuesday, November 6th, 2001
Location: Dutch Reformed Church in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Today’s Chairman: Drs. Jan van Oudheusden, provincial historian of the Province of Noord-Brabant and Director of the Stichting Brabantse Regionale Geschiedenis.

09.00 am – 09.30 am Reception; coffee and/or tea.
09.30 am – 10.15 am Lecture by Dr. Hans Belting, Professor in the History of Art at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, Germany: Fiction in painting and literature – Bosch and Thomas More. The case of the ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’.
10.15 am – 11.00 am Lecture by Dr. Paul Vandenbroeck, research curator Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium: Bosch and 16th-century art theory: Maccaronica and ‘grylli’.
11.00 am – 11.30 am Coffee and/or tea break.
11.30 am – 12.15 p.m. Lecture by Dr. Gerd Unverfehrt, Professor in at the University of Göttingen, Germany.
12.30 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. Luncheon; opportunity to have a walk around the old centre of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
2.45 p.m. – 3.30 p.m. Lecture by Dr. Fritz Koreny, Professor in Vienna, Austria: Hieronymus Bosch als Maler – Hieronymus Bosch als Zeichner. Beobachtungen zu Stil und Chronologie.
3.30 p.m. – 4.15 p.m. Lecture by Dr. Eric De Bruyn, teacher at the Groenendaalcollege, Merksem (Antwerp), Belgium: The iconography of Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘Saint Christopher’ (Collection F. Koenigs, Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen). Location: Golden Tulip Hotel Central, ‘s-Hertogenbosch
6.00 p.m. – 7.45 p.m. Dinner buffet (Not included in the congress costs. Extra costs Dfl. 81,54 (Euro 37). Location: Cathedral of Saint John Evangelist in ‘s-Hertogenbosch
8.15 p.m. – 8.00 p.m. Concert, open to the public, of profane and religious music from the 15th and 16th Century written by among others Jean Mouton, Pierre de la Rue and Josquin Desprez, performed by:

  • the Schola Cantorum of ‘s-Hertogenbosch: ‘Die Sangheren Onser Liever Vrouwen’, conducted by rector cantus Jeroen Felix;
  • the Hortus Musicus o.l.v. Reinier Wakelkamp;
  • the Daniel Speer Trombone consort;
  • Maurice Pirenne, organist of the Great Organ of the Cathedral of Saint John Evangelist.

Day 3. Wednesday November 7th, 2001
Location: Noordbrabants Museum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Today’s Chairmen: Drs. Jan van Laarhoven, Director of the Noordbrabants Museum and Drs. Jan van Oudheusden, provincial historian.

Coffee and/or tea.
09.30 am – 10.30 am Plenary reading by Dr. Reindert Falkenburg, Professor of Western Art History and Religion, Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, United States: The Garden of Earthly Delights: a source for speculation.
10.30 am – 11.00 am Coffee and/or tea break.
11.00 am – 12.00 am Parallel sessions:

  • 11.00 am – 11.30 am Drs. Matthijs Ilsink, honorary curator of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Saint Anthony or Christopher? On the iconography of a print and the reception of Bosch’ s ‘Last Judgement’ in Bruges in the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

    Dr. Roger H. Marijnissen, Former Head of the Department of Conservation of the Royal Institute of the Patrimonium of the Arts in Brussels, Belgium: Jeroen Bosch, betekenis en onderzoek in de toekomst.
  • 11.30 am – 12.00 am Dr. Lucas van Dijck, historian, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands: From Joen van Aken to Jheronimus Bosch. relevance of the archives;

    Drs. Ester Vink, historian, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Bosch in the ‘Bosch’ archives.

Location: Raadskelder at the Market Place in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

12.15 am – 1.15 p.m. Brabant style coffee luncheon.
Location: Noordbrabants Museum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

1.30 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. Visit to the exhibition “The World of Bosch”
2.30 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Parallel sessions:

  • 2.30 p.m. – 3.00 p.m. Dr. Johannes Hartau, Historian of Art in Hamburg, Germany: Bosch and the Jews;

    Drs. Barbara Kruijsen, Historian of Art in Nijmegen, Netherlands and honorary curator of the exhibition ‘De wereld van Bosch’ in the Noordbrabants Museum, ‘s-Hertogenbosch: Bosch in the 19th century in The Netherlands.
  • 3.00 p.m. – 3.30 p.m. Drs. Renilde Vervoort, Historian of Art in Begnins, Switzerland, external promovenda of the Katholieke Universiteit in Nijmegen, The Netherlands: Witchcraft in the work of Bosch?.

    Mr. Ton Frenken, Artist in Vught, The Netherlands and producer of the Jeroen Bosch exhibition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 1967: Bosch als beeldend kunstenaar.
  • 3.30 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Dr. Bernd Konrad, Historian of Art in Berlin, Germany: Did Lucas Cranach really copied the Vienna triptych of the Last Judgement;

    Dr. Michael Schauder, Historian of Art in Dresden, Germany: Mystical love and carnal desire. A new reading of Bosch’s ‘Wedding at Kana’;
    Dr. Lucy Schlüter, Constantijn Huygens Institute for text editions and intellectual history, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: De voorgrond van Bosch’ ‘Dood van een vrek’; H.Th. Colenbrander, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’: a new interpretation.
  • 4.00 p.m. – 4.30 p.m. Coffee and/or tea break.
  • 4.30 p.m. – 5.30 p.m. Plenary discussion with the lecturers of the parallel sessions.

Location: Orangerie in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

7.00 p.m. – 9.00 p.m. Dinner buffet and closing reading by Dr. Van Uytven, retired Professor in History at the Universitaire Faculteiten St.-Ignatius, Antwerp and the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium;

Closing speech by Drs. R.C. Hage, Town Archivist of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.


For all your questions regarding the organisation please contact:
Stadsarchief ‘s-Hertogenbosch
c.o. Rob H.A. van de Laar
tel (+31) (0) 73 615 52 74

International Jheronimus Bosch Congress
p/a Stadsarchief ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Postbus 12345
5200 GZ ‘s-Hertogenbosch

For questions regarding scientific issues please contact:
Drs Aart Vos
tel (+31) (0) 73 615 52 91