Sons of ’s-Hertogenbosch: Hieronymus Bosch’s Local Legacy in Print

Fig. 1. Cornelis Cort, The Painter Hieronymus Bosch, in Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris effigies (1572), engraving, 18.6 x 12.2 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Fig. 1. Cornelis Cort, The Painter Hieronymus Bosch, in Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris effigies (1572), engraving, 18.6 x 12.2 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

The mere mention of “Bosch” conjures images of hybrid creatures, saints in torment and acts of human debauchery. Nobody had looked so deeply into the recesses of hell before, or painted them so well, as the 16th-century scholar Dominicus Lampsonius proclaimed in a poem and accompanying portrait honoring the artist’s legacy (Fig. 1).1

Yet the Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450–1516) eludes such easy characterization. His family name was van Aken, but he signed his works with the name of his hometown, ’s-Hertogenbosch (also known as Den Bosch), thus tethering his creative production to his place of birth.2 In the wake of Bosch’s death, however, his legacy was reimagined and expanded into a veritable brand. The immense popularity of his works both within the Low Countries and across Europe fueled a vigorous “Boschian” afterlife already evident in the 1520s, when paintings that riffed on Bosch’s imagery appeared on the flourishing art market in Antwerp, the largest metropolis in the 16th-century Netherlands.3 Felipe de Guevara, who witnessed the covetous demand for Bosch’s paintings at the court of Spain, lamented in his Commentaries on Painting (ca. 1560) that misconceptions about the artist abounded as a result of all the “monstrosities” attributed to his name.4 The countless adaptations after Bosch’s inventions, many of them falsely inscribed with his autograph, blurred the line between the works of the artist himself and those created by his followers.5

Fig. 2. Pieter van der Heyden (after Pieter Bruegel the Elder), Big Fish Eat Little Fish (1557), engraving, 23 x 30 cm. Private collection.

Fig. 2. Pieter van der Heyden (after Pieter Bruegel the Elder), Big Fish Eat Little Fish (1557), engraving, 23 x 30 cm. Private collection.

This article addresses a neglected aspect of Bosch’s posthumous reception: the production of his legacy in print. Bosch appears never to have designed for the medium, and in part for this reason the many prints bearing his name have received little attention in past scholarship.6 Our recent exhibition, “Beyond Bosch: The Afterlife of a Renaissance Master in Print,” endeavored to address this gap by revealing the importance of Boschian prints to the wide dissemination and changing interpretation of the themes and subjects associated with Bosch himself.7

The prints in the Boschian corpus, which were produced by many different hands over the course of the 16th century, bring to the fore questions of authorship and authenticity central to understanding artistic production during the early modern period. These prints claim Bosch as their “inventor” but have, at best, only tenuous connection to the artist’s known works. As such, they belong to the moment in the history of art, and printmaking in particular, when issues surrounding intellectual property—and the very notion of an artist as individual creator—were stirring a new consciousness and subversive approach toward invention itself.8

Fig. 3. Alart du Hameel, Saint Christopher (n.d.), engraving, 19.9 x 33.7 cm. Private collection, courtesy of Nicholas Stogdon.

Fig. 3. Alart du Hameel, Saint Christopher (n.d.), engraving, 19.9 x 33.7 cm. Private collection, courtesy of Nicholas Stogdon.

The Boschian print phenomenon surged during the latter half of the 16th century in tandem with the growth of a full-fledged printmaking industry. The print publisher Hieronymus Cock created a prolific enterprise in the thriving commercial center of Antwerp, where he amassed a stock of prints ranging from reproductions of famous Italian Renaissance paintings to Netherlandish landscapes, moralizing narratives and devotional images, as well as ornament designs and maps9 [see Art in Print March–April 2014]. Sixteen Boschian prints occupy a distinct place within the output of this publishing house and establish Cock’s critical role in the production of Bosch’s afterlife in the medium.10 Among the many living artists with whom Cock collaborated was Pieter Bruegel the Elder, who earned the epithet “a new Bosch” during his lifetime through his sophisticated emulation of his predecessor in works such as Big Fish Eat Little Fish (1557), published by Cock and engraved after Bruegel’s design. The engraving is inscribed not with Bruegel’s name but with “Hieronymus Bosch inventor,” a conscious and competitive play with artistic identity surely encouraged by Cock’s market-conscious sensibilities. Big Fish marks the beginning of the decades over which Cock, and his widow after him, brought their Boschian prints to market (Fig. 2).11

Fig. 4. Alart du Hameel, Last Judgment (n.d.), engraving, 23.6 x 34.7 cm. The British Museum, London, 1845,0809.436. ©The Trustees of The British Museum, London.

Fig. 4. Alart du Hameel, Last Judgment (n.d.), engraving, 23.6 x 34.7 cm. The British Museum, London, 1845,0809.436. ©The Trustees of The British Museum, London.

Rather than revisiting Bruegel’s familiar contribution to the Boschian print phenomenon, we focus here on two case studies of prints that were inspired by Bosch and produced by artists who likewise hailed from ’s-Hertogenbosch: Alart du Hameel and Balthasar van den Bos. The prints designed by Hameel and van den Bos have no stronger verifiable link to Bosch’s own paintings than any other Boschian prints, but these two artists shared a unique motivation for perpetuating the creative legacy of the town that Bosch first put on the map. By paying homage to their great predecessor, Hameel and van den Bos—each in his own way—marketed their identities as inventors in a local tradition.

Alart du Hameel’s Besieged Elephant 

Alart du Hameel (ca. 1449–ca. 1506) was foremost an architect and designer in the flamboyant Gothic mode.12 He was among the key architects of St. John’s Cathedral in ’s-Hertogenbosch and a member of the local Confraternity of Our Lady, to which Bosch also belonged. That the two men knew each other seems beyond doubt. Twelve surviving engravings attest to Hameel’s engagement with printmaking, and three of these owe an evident debt to Bosch, making them the only Boschian prints produced during Bosch’s lifetime.13 Hameel’s Saint Christopher and the Last Judgment take up subjects that Bosch painted but follow no known compositional model by the painter (Figs. 3–4).14 The Besieged Elephant, the focus of this case study, lacks any counterpart in a surviving painting by Bosch, but its later 16th-century reception indicates its close association with the famous artist (Fig. 5).15

Fig. 5. Alart du Hameel, Besieged Elephant (n.d.), engraving, 20.3 x 33.6 cm. The British Museum, London, 1845,0809.439. ©The Trustees of The British Museum, London.

While it has been assumed that Hameel cut his own plates, no evidence affirms that he possessed the skill of the burin, and it is equally plausible that he employed an engraver to produce his designs in print.16 The most impressive engraving bearing Hameel’s name depicts a monstrance that St. John’s Cathedral commissioned him to design in 1484, which has fueled the assertion that he practiced metalworking.17 However, Hameel only created the model for the monstrance—likely in the form of a drawing on which the surviving engraving was based—while a Cologne goldsmith was called in to craft the liturgical object itself (Fig. 6).18 As for the chronology of Hameel’s prints, none is inscribed with a date, but his Monstrance—if it was published around the time of the commission from St. John’s—might indicate that at least some were created as early as the 1480s.

Fig. 6. Alart du Hameel, Monstrance (n.d.), engraving, printed on four sheets from bottom to top: 11.5 x 26.6 cm, 30.7 x 21.1 cm, 33.4 x 21.1 cm, 34.4 x 15.7 cm. ©Albertina, Vienna.

Fig. 6. Alart du Hameel, Monstrance (n.d.), engraving, printed on four sheets from bottom to top: 11.5 x 26.6 cm, 30.7 x 21.1 cm, 33.4 x 21.1 cm, 34.4 x 15.7 cm. ©Albertina, Vienna.

The Besieged Elephant raises the question of how closely Hameel collaborated with Bosch. At the least, he seems to have had access to models emerging from the latter’s workshop, whether drawings or paintings; at most, Bosch may have actively encouraged Hameel’s endeavors in print.19 The subject of the battle elephant derives from the kind of source material—medieval bestiaries and romance—on which Bosch often drew and it takes up the theme of the tension between human and animal impulses that recurs throughout his oeuvre.20 Associated since antiquity with Alexander the Great’s campaign in India, which encountered a legion of elephants armed with fortresses on their backs, the animal embodied not only brute strength but also the threat of the foreign enemy; the crescent flag flying from the tower atop Hameel’s elephant alludes to the fears of the Muslim world and Turkish invasion that surfaced in Europe throughout the early modern period.21 Hameel’s depiction of the animal also compares closely to the elephant in the left wing of Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights triptych, and the ring of encamped fighters—populated by men and various beasts—surrounding the print’s protagonist recalls the eerie circle of revelers riding similar creatures in the middle ground of the triptych’s center panel (Fig. 7). These affinities suggest that Hameel was drawing inspiration from Bosch’s art rather than copying his works wholesale.

Indeed, the assumption that Hameel’s Boschian engravings reproduce lost compositions by Bosch should be tempered.22 The Besieged Elephant has been interpreted along these lines on the basis of two pieces of evidence: the inventory of King Philip II of Spain, which records a large painting on canvas of “an elephant and other drolleries by Hieronymus Bosch,” and a tapestry series of “Bosch” compositions produced in Brussels circa 1530–40, which is documented to have included a besieged elephant among its subjects.23 However, the only known painted version of the Boschian Besieged Elephant—a surviving watercolor painting dating around 1558—derives directly from Hameel’s composition.24 And despite the attribution of Philip’s painting and the Brussels tapestry to Bosch, these too may have originated with Hameel’s engraving, which would have been a more readily accessible prototype given its dissemination through print.25

Fig. 7. Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights (c. 1500–05), oil on panel, 220 x 390 cm. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. ©Museo del Prado / Art Resource, NY.

Hameel became a key figure in the history of Bosch’s afterlife precisely because he was perceived as a contemporary and acquaintance of Bosch whose prints were presumed to convey primary knowledge of the artist’s works. This perception stemmed in no small part from the reference to ’s-Hertogenbosch or “bosche” that appears on several of Hameel’s engravings, including on Boschian prints like The Besieged Elephant as well as those with non-Boschian subjects.26 Hameel’s assertion of his authorial status in direct relation to his hometown parallels, and likely emulates, Bosch’s own adoption of the name in his signature.27 Yet Hameel clearly meant for The Besieged Elephant to be identified as his invention (not as Bosch’s) since he signed it three times: “HAMEEL” as well as his hallmark appear in the upper right beside a Boschian devil floating in the sky, and his name appears again on the rear of a camel in the lower left.

Despite Hameel’s efforts at self-promotion, in the later 16th century the “bosche” inscription was taken to refer to Bosch himself as the print’s creator. The conflation of Hameel’s Boschian prints with Bosch as author only heightened their appeal and ensured their status as exemplars for further Boschian creations.28

Fig. 8. Joannes van Doetecum the Elder and Lucas van Doetecum (after Alart du Hameel), Besieged Elephant (n.d.), etching and engraving, 39.5 x 54.3 cm. Private collection.

Fig. 8. Joannes van Doetecum the Elder and Lucas van Doetecum (after Alart du Hameel), Besieged Elephant (n.d.), etching and engraving, 39.5 x 54.3 cm. Private collection.

Sometime around 1560, Hieronymus Cock published an updated version of Hameel’s Besieged Elephant that capitalized on advances in the medium over the previous half-century to produce a dramatic print nearly twice the size of Hameel’s original (Fig. 8).29 The many revisions to Hameel’s design include the displacement of the crescent moon to a filial on top of the elephant’s fortress, which evokes the decoration adorning the pinnacles of domes and minarets in Constantinople built under the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520–60).30 Still more significantly, Hameel’s name has been evacuated from the print and replaced with the phrase “Hieronymus Bosch inventor.” As much as Hameel sought to champion his hometown and his own inventive capacities through prints such as The Besieged Elephant, his Boschian engravings lived on in large part because they seemed to possess the aura of Hieronymus Bosch himself.

Balthasar van den Bos’s Conjuror

By its very theme, The Conjuror (Fig. 9) addresses still more directly the slipperiness of art and authorship in the realm of prints bearing Bosch’s name. The engraving’s sly main character demonstrates his sleight of hand with the ball trick on the table, while also conjuring frogs from an old woman’s mouth, thus distracting her and facilitating the theft of her purse by his two collaborators.31

Fig. 9. Balthasar van den Bos, The Conjuror (or Charlatan) (n.d.), engraving, 24.6 x 31.9 cm. Private collection.

Fig. 9. Balthasar van den Bos, The Conjuror (or Charlatan) (n.d.), engraving, 24.6 x 31.9 cm. Private collection.

Balthasar van den Bos was born in ’s-Hertogenbosch just two years after Bosch’s death and like Bosch he included his hometown in his signature.32 He built his career, however, in Antwerp, where he joined the St. Luke’s Guild in 1551/52, the same year as Pieter Bruegel the Elder.33 He not only engraved for Hieronymus Cock and Cock’s competitor Hans Liefrinck but also published prints himself, among them The Conjuror—his only print with a specific reference to Bosch.34

The Conjuror is alternatively known as The Charlatan, which is suggestive of its interpretive malleability. Van den Bos’s engraving is one of seven surviving versions of the theme. In addition to the print, five variant paintings and a related drawing attest to the subject’s popularity across media (Figs. 10–13).35 The sketchy drawing in the Louvre seems to attest to the treatment of the subject within Bosch’s circle (Fig. 10). It shares some characteristics with the paintings and print, but also includes elements not present in other versions. Many questions remain about the origins of these Conjuror compositions, but even a cursory examination of the surviving works illuminates an interesting set of problems surrounding Bosch’s posthumous legacy.

Fig. 10. Follower of  Hieronymus Bosch, The Charlatan (recto) (n.d.), pen and brown ink, 27.8 x 20.6 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris. ©RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY.

Fig. 10. Follower of
Hieronymus Bosch, The Charlatan (recto) (n.d.), pen and brown ink, 27.8 x 20.6 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris. ©RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY.

Van den Bos’s engraving indeed exemplifies what is true for many of the prints produced “after” Hieronymus Bosch, including Hameel’s Besieged Elephant: they were not isolated compositions but instead participants in the broader marketplace for pictures claiming a relation to the famous painter. Unlike the other renditions of The Conjuror, the print makes the link to Bosch explicit with its prominent inscription at the base of the table: “IHERONIMUS BOSCH INVINTOR [sic].” In the nomenclature of Renaissance prints, the word “inventor” suggests the composition originated with the great painter, yet given the lack of any surviving corresponding work by Bosch it bears asking to what extent the genealogy of The Conjuror—in all its surviving permutations—can be traced back to Bosch himself.

A second inscription on the print, “D * MARCOLEUS * RU” along the hem of the conjuror’s robe, has escaped notice in past scholarship but is crucial to the print’s interpretation. “Marcoleus” is a clear misspelling of the name Marcolfus, known in English as Marcolf, the popular folk hero and inveterate trickster whose maddening exploits with the wise King Solomon ultimately won him a death sentence.36 The presence of a gallows—he was sentenced to hang—in the painted versions now in Philadelphia and Jerusalem further supports this identification (Figs. 12–13).

Fig. 11. Follower of Hieronymus Bosch, The Charlatan (n.d.), oil on panel, 53 × 65 cm. Municipal Museum, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. ©Scala / Art Resource, NY.

Fig. 11. Follower of Hieronymus Bosch, The Charlatan (n.d.), oil on panel, 53 × 65 cm. Municipal Museum, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. ©Scala / Art Resource, NY.

The widely circulated story of Marcolf describes him as an ugly, stocky peasant (“RU” references his “rustic” ancestors) who nonetheless possessed the wit and wiles to spar with the smartest of kings, even to the point of evading his own death sentence. By the mid-16th century, Marcolf’s skill at clever deception—frequently identified as ingenium in the texts—had overshadowed the emphasis on his grotesque appearance, and in van den Bos’s print, he is a trickster above all.37 The conjuror’s devious ingenium thus became intertwined with the productive ingenium associated with Bosch, making the print a demonstration piece for the double-edged sword of Renaissance conceptions of invention.38

It must be admitted that van den Bos’s engraving is technically less sophisticated than the engravings after Netherlandish and Italian masters he produced for Hieronymus Cock and Hans Liefrinck. This characterization is reinforced by the misspellings in the inscriptions (invintor, Marcoleus) as well as the reversal of all instances of the capital letter “N.”39 While it is possible that van den Bos affected an amateurish style to accord with the subject, this plate may simply be early, predating his work for the two publishers. The Conjuror may even have preceded the publication of Bruegel’s Big Fish, in which case it could have been one source of inspiration for Cock to initiate his own Boschian print stock.40

Fig. 12. Follower of Hieronymus Bosch, The Charlatan (16th century), oil on panel, 105.4 x 138.7 cm. Philadelphia Museum of Art, purchased with the W. P. Wilstach Fund, 1914.

In fact, van den Bos’s print could possibly have served as a model for the surviving paintings to which it relates. Printed versions of painted compositions are often in reverse orientation (if the printmaker did not think ahead, or consider it important to engrave the image in reverse), so it is worth noting that the print is in the same direction as all of the paintings. Of course, the print’s orientation is not an absolute indicator, and certain deviations from the painted versions—such as the addition of the second pocket-snatcher in the print—might equally argue against this interpretation. Yet it may be that van den Bos’s name and his origins in ’s-Hertogenbosch would have lent credibility to his print as a primary source. The print makes this claim through the emphasis on Bosch as its inventor, and the careful placement of the word “INVINTOR” itself, which is framed by a child’s hoop resting against the base of the table. This detail quite literally—and playfully—highlights the notion of invention, as seen both in Marcolf’s deceitful tricks and in the legacy of Bosch’s generative imagination.

Conclusion

Hameel’s Besieged Elephant and van den Bos’s Conjuror raise two issues that are central to understanding the Boschian print phenomenon. The first regards the role of printmaking itself. With the emergence of “Bosch” as a popular brand in the 16th century, Boschian prints entered into dialogue with compositions in other media (tapestry, painting, drawing) also associated—however ambiguously—with the renowned painter. At the same time, prints had a technological edge over these other visual genres in their power to disseminate Bosch’s afterlife on a previously unimaginable scale.

Fig. 13. School of Hieronymus Bosch, The Conjurer (after 1500), oil on panel, 84 x 114 cm. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Bequest of Oliver O. and Marianne Ostier, New York, to the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. B77.0069. Photo ©The Israel Museum, Jerusalem by Elie Posner.

Fig. 13. School of Hieronymus Bosch, The Conjurer (after 1500), oil on panel, 84 x 114 cm. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Bequest of Oliver O. and Marianne Ostier, New York, to the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. B77.0069. Photo ©The Israel Museum, Jerusalem by Elie Posner.

The second issue concerns the notion of authenticity. Both Hameel and van den Bos asserted the status of their prints as Boschian productions not only by emulating the most renowned and inventive son of ’s-Hertogenbosch but also on the grounds that they too hailed from Bosch’s hometown. Although we have seen that their works were not “authentic” reproductions after Bosch in the modern sense of the term, their prints gained traction precisely through their claim of descent from the artist. Hameel was almost too successful at aligning himself in this way, as his Boschian prints were construed as Bosch’s own inventions for centuries afterward. Van den Bos, who produced no other Boschian prints besides the Conjuror, instead advanced his career by leaving ’s-Hertogenbosch for the more cosmopolitan city of Antwerp. There he collaborated with the enterprising Cock, who perpetuated Bosch’s brand in print on a much larger scale.

Bosch, as one of the first artists to systematically sign his works and to self-consciously proclaim his status as an inventor, helped to inspire—however indirectly—prints produced under his guise even decades after his death. The Boschian corpus to which Hameel and van den Bos contributed has proven subtly deceptive in its connection to Bosch himself. Yet because these prints trace their lineage from his legacy of invention, they nonetheless became a vital and generative force in the artist’s ever-expanding afterlife.

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  1. The text of the poem reads: “Quid sibi vult, Hieronyme Boschi, / ille oculus tuus attonitus? quid / pallor in ore? velut lemures si / spectra Erebi volitantia cora[m] / aspiceres? tibi ditis avari / crediderim patuisse recessus / Tartareasque domos tua quando / quicquid habet sinus imus Averni / tam potuit bene pingere dextra.” Dominicus Lampsonius, Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris effigies (Antwerp: the widow of Hieronymus Cock, 1572), no. 3. See also Manfred Sellink, Cornelis Cort, in The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etching, Engravings and Woodcuts, 1450–1700, edited by Huigen Leeflang (Rotterdam: Sound and Vision, 2000), no. 223. []
  2. “…Jheronimi van Aken, schilder ofte maelder die hem selver scrift Jheronimus Bosch,” as recorded in the ledgers of the Confraternity of Our Lady in 1509–10. See G. C. M. van Dijck, Op zoek naar Jheronimus van Aken, alias Bosch, de feiten: familie, vrienden en opdrachtgevers ca. 1400–ca. 1635 (Zaltbommel: Europese Bibliotheek, 2001), 182; Ester Vink, “Hieronymus Bosch’s Life in ’s-Hertogenbosch,” in Jos Koldeweij, Bernard Vermet, and Barbera van Kooij, eds., Hieronymus Bosch: New Insights into his Life and Work (Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, 2001), 19n6. For further discussion of Bosch’s signature, see also Tobias Burg, Die Signatur: Formen und Funktionen vom Mittelalter bis zum 17. Jahrhundert (Berlin: Lit-Verlag, 2007), 427–34. []
  3. The most comprehensive study of painted copies after Bosch remains Gerd Unverfehrt, Hieronymus Bosch: Die Rezeption seiner Kunst im frühen 16. Jahrhundert (Berlin: Mann, 1980). See also Matthijs Ilsink, Bosch en Bruegel als Bosch: kunst over kunst bij Pieter Bruegel (c. 1528–1569) en Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516) (Nijmegen: Uitgeverij Orange House, 2009); Larry Silver, “Second Bosch: Family Resemblance and the Marketing of Art,” Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 50 (1999): 31–56; Larry Silver, Hieronymus Bosch (New York: Abbeville Press, 2006), 361–97; and most recently, Tobias Pfeifer-Helke et al., Hieronymus Boschs Erbe (Dresden: Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 2015). []
  4. Felipe de Guevara, Commentarios de la Pintura, in F. J. Sánchez Cantón, ed., Fuentes literarias para la historia del arte Español, vol. 1 (Madrid: Imprenta Clásica Española, 1923), 159–61, esp. 159. For English translation, see James Synder, Bosch in Perspective (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1997), 28–30. []
  5. Fra José de Sigüenza, Historia de la Orden de San Jerónimo, in Nueva Biblioteca de Autores Españoles, vol. 12 (Madrid: Bailly-Baillière, 1909), 635–39; for English translation, see Synder, Bosch in Perspective, 34–41. []
  6. There was nothing unusual about Bosch’s lack of involvement with printmaking, as this was true for most painters in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. In the Netherlands, only the generation of painters who came of age during the last decade of Bosch’s life, such as Lucas van Leyden and Jan Gossart, began to experiment and engage with the new medium. See Larry Silver, “Graven Images: Reproductive Engravings as Visual Models,” in Timothy Riggs and Larry Silver, eds., Graven Images: The Rise of Professional Printmakers in Antwerp and Haarlem, 1540–1640 (Evanston: Mary and Leigh Block Gallery, Northwestern University, 1993), 1–3; and Nadine Orenstein, “Gossart and Printmaking,” in Maryan W. Ainsworth, ed., Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart’s Renaissance. The Complete Works (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), 105–12. []
  7. Marisa Bass and Elizabeth Wyckoff, Beyond Bosch: The Afterlife of a Renaissance Master in Print (St. Louis: St. Louis Art Museum, 2015). Prior to our exhibition, the only compendium of the prints after Bosch was the outdated catalogue of Paul Lafond, The Prints of Hieronymus Bosch [1914], ed. and trans. Susan Fargo Gilchrist (San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 2002). []
  8. Lisa Pon, Raphael, Dürer, and Marcantonio Raimondi: Copying and the Italian Renaissance Print (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004); Sharon Gregory, Vasari and the Renaissance Print (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2012); on the topic of reproductive see also David Landau and Peter Parshall, The Renaissance Print 1470–1550 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 20–46; Evelyn Lincoln, The Invention of the Renaissance Printmaker (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), 1–15; Rebecca Zorach and Elizabeth Rodini, Paper Museums: The Reproductive Print in Europe, 1500–1800 (Chicago: The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 2005), 1–29; and Michael Bury, The Print in Italy 1550–1620 (London: The British Museum, 2001), 10–11. []
  9. Joris van Grieken, Ger Luijten, and Jan Van der Stock, Hieronymus Cock: The Renaissance in Print (Brussels: Mercatorfonds, 2013); see also Elizabeth Wyckoff, “Hieronymus Cock and the Invention of the Print Market in Antwerp,” in Marisa Bass and Elizabeth Wyckoff, Beyond Bosch: The Afterlife of a Renaissance Master in Print (St. Louis: St. Louis Art Museum, 2015), 35–57 and the review of van Grieken et al. in Art in Print (March–April 2014). []
  10. Cock’s publishing house Aux Quatre Vents (At the Sign of the Four Winds) was also continued after his death by his widow Volcxken Diericx, who was herself responsible for a handful of the Boschian prints. For background, see especially Jan Van der Stock, “Hieronymus Cock and Volcxken Diericx: Print Publishers in Antwerp,” in van Grieken et al., Hieronymus Cock, 14–21. []
  11. For Hameel’s biography, see especially De Gruyter Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon: Die Bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker, vol. 68 (Munich: Saur, 1992–), 429–30. See also Adam von Bartsch, The Illustrated Bartsch, edited by Walter L. Strauss (New York: Abaris Books, 1978–), 9.II, 231–32; Jos Koldeweij, Paul Vandenbroeck, and Bernard Vermet, Hieronymus Bosch: The Complete Paintings and Drawings (Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, 2001), 45–47; C. Peeters, De Sint Janskathedraal te ’s-Hertogenbosch (The Hague: Staatsuitgeverij, 1985), 39–40; P. Gerlach, “Bossche architekten ten tijde van Jeroen Bosch,” Brabants Heem 22 (1970): 154–62; P. Gerlach, “Het testament van de Bossche bouwmeester Alart DuHameel en Jan Heyns,” Bossche bijdragen: bouwstoffen voor de geschiedenis van het Bisdom ’s-Hertogenbosch 30 (1970–71): 206–15; C. R. Hermans, “De kunstschilder Hieronymus van Aeken of Bos, en de bouwmeester en plaatsnijder Alard du Hamel,” Handelingen van het Provincaal Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen (1861): 60–74. On the flamboyant Gothic forms central to Hameel’s architectural vocabulary, see Ethan Matt Kavaler, Renaissance Gothic: Architecture and the Arts in Northern Europe, 1470–1540 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), esp. 131–33. []
  12. For Hameel’s biography, see especially De Gruyter Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon: Die Bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker, vol. 68 (Munich: Saur, 1992–), 429–30. See also Adam von Bartsch, The Illustrated Bartsch, edited by Walter L. Strauss (New York: Abaris Books, 1978–), 9.II, 231–32; Jos Koldeweij, Paul Vandenbroeck, and Bernard Vermet, Hieronymus Bosch: The Complete Paintings and Drawings (Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, 2001), 45–47; C. Peeters, De Sint Janskathedraal te ’s-Hertogenbosch (The Hague: Staatsuitgeverij, 1985), 39–40; P. Gerlach, “Bossche architekten ten tijde van Jeroen Bosch,” Brabants Heem 22 (1970): 154–62; P. Gerlach, “Het testament van de Bossche bouwmeester Alart DuHameel en Jan Heyns,” Bossche bijdragen: bouwstoffen voor de geschiedenis van het Bisdom ’s-Hertogenbosch 30 (1970–71): 206–15; C. R. Hermans, “De kunstschilder Hieronymus van Aeken of Bos, en de bouwmeester en plaatsnijder Alard du Hamel,” Handelingen van het Provincaal Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen (1861): 60–74. On the flamboyant Gothic forms central to Hameel’s architectural vocabulary, see Ethan Matt Kavaler, Renaissance Gothic: Architecture and the Arts in Northern Europe, 1470–1540 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), esp. 131–33. []
  13. See Bartsch, The Illustrated Bartsch, 9.II.001–012; and the still useful catalogue by Max Lehrs, “Verzeichniss der Kupferstiche des Alart du Hameel,” Oud Holland (1894): 15–25; and Lehrs, Geschichte und Kritischer Katalog der Deutschen, Niederländischen, und Französchichen Kupferstichs im XV. Jahrhundert [1930], 9 vols. (Nendeln: Kraus Reprint, 1969), 7:233–49. []
  14. Bass and Wyckoff, Beyond Bosch, 96–101, cat. 5 (Saint Christopher), 130–35, cat. 12 (Last Judgment), with prior literature. []
  15. Ibid., 140–43, no. 15, with prior literature. []
  16. Although early 19th-century scholarship actually attributed the engraving of the plates to Bosch, Paul Lafond definitely asserted that Hameel himself cut the plates, and since then the latter assumption has not been questioned. See Lafond, The Prints, 19. It cannot be ruled out that Hameel engraved the plates, but it is worth considering the possibility that he was only the inventor of the compositions, particularly as he made his architectural career foremost as a designer and project supervisor. As noted by Peeters, De Sint Janskathedraal, 40, Hameel’s hallmark does not appear on a single stone of St. John’s Cathedral in ’s-Hertogenbosch, which suggests that he did not take his own hand to its construction, despite being referred to as a “steenhouwer” (stonemason) in relation to other commissions. See also A. M. Koldeweij, “Bourgondiërs in de hertogstad,” in In Buscoducis: Kunst uit de Bourgondische tijd te ’s-Hertogenbosch: De cultuur van late middeleeuwen en renaissance, edited by A. M. Koldeweij, vol. 2, 365–76, esp. 370, 601n42, who points out that there is no documentary evidence for the assertion in early literature that Hameel was commissioned by his hometown to produce an engraved portrait of Philip the Fair. []
  17. Bartsch, The Illustrated Bartsch, 9.II.009; and Lehrs, Geschichte und Kritischer Katalog, 245–47, no. 9. Hameel’s Monstrance survives in only two known impressions, preserved in the Rothschild Collection in Paris and the Albertina in Vienna. []
  18. For the contract document, see Liesbeth M. Helmus, “Drie contracten met zilversmeden,” in In Buscoducis: kunst uit de Bourgondische tijd te ’s-Hertogenbosch: de cultuur van late middeleeuwen en renaissance, edited by A. M. Koldeweij 473–81, esp. 476–77, 479: “Naden patroone, date meest[er] Alart die meest[er] vand[en] warck van sunte jans, dair op ontworpen heeft, en[de] noch voirt volmaken zal mette beelden etc.” For additional discussion of the monstrance, see Max Lehrs, “Über gestochene Vorlagen für gothisches Kirchengeräth,” Zeitschrift für christliche Kunst 6 (1893): col. 65–74; G. de Werd, “Alart Duhameels monstrans-ontwerp voor de Sint Jan te ’s-Hertogenbosch (1484–1484),” Brabantia 20 (1971): 102–3; Ornemanistes du XVe au XVIIe siècle, gravures et dessins (Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux, 1987), 49–50, no. 62; Jean-Pierre van Rijen, “De kunstreis van het Bernulphusgilde naar de Sint-Jan: Alart du Hamel en Lambert Hezenmans,” in Bouwkunst: studies in vriendschap voor Kees Peeters, edited by Wim Denslagen et al. (Amsterdam: Architectura & Natura Pers, 1993), 427–39; and A. M. Koldeweij, “Goud- en zilversmede te ’s-Hertogenbosch,” in In Buscoducis: kunst uit de Bourgondische tijd te ’s-Hertogenbosch: de cultuur van late middeleeuwen en renaissance, edited by A. M. Koldeweij, 2 vols. (The Hague: Maarssen, 1999), 2:465–72, 608–9, esp. 467–70; and Marisa Bass, “Hieronymus Bosch and his Legacy as ‘Inventor,’ ” in arisa Bass and Elizabeth Wyckoff, Beyond Bosch: The Afterlife of a Renaissance Master in Print (St. Louis: St. Louis Art Museum, 2015), 23–24. []
  19. Fritz Koreny, Hieronymus Bosch: Die Zeichnungen: Werkstaat und Nachfolge bis zum Ende des 16. Jahrhunderts (Turnhout: Brepols 2012), passim. []
  20. See the description of the elephant in the Aberdeen Bestiary (ca. 1200), fols. 10r–11r: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/bestiary/translat/10r.hti. See also G. C. Druce, “The Elephant in Medieval Legend and Art,” Journal of the Royal Archaeological Institute 76 (1919): 1–73; and Dirk Bax, Hieronymus Bosch: His Picture-Writing Deciphered, trans. M. A. Bax-Botha (Rotterdam: A. A. Balkema, 1979), 275–83. Elephants armed with fortresses are illustrated and described in medieval travel accounts of journeys in the Holy Land. See, for instance, Kathryn Blair Moore, “The Disappearance of an Author and the Emergence of a Genre: Niccolò da Poggibonsi and Pilgrimage Guidebooks between Manuscript and Print,” Renaissance Quarterly 66 (2013): 357–411, esp. 365–68. For Schongauer’s print of a besieged elephant, which predates Hameel’s, see Max Lehrs, Martin Schongauer: The Complete Engravings, A Catalogue Raisonné (San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 2005), 300–301, no. 94. []
  21. See Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, Bk. XVII, 87–88, and Druce, “The Elephant in Medieval Legend.” []
  22. This assumption has been made regarding Hameel’s Besieged Elephant in much past literature, including Bax, Hieronymus Bosch, 275–83; Unverfehrt, Hieronymus Bosch, 241–42; Paul Vandenbroeck, Jheronimus Bosch: tussen volksleven en stadscultuur (Berchem: Uitgeverij EPO, 1987), 107–09; Paul Vandenbroeck, Jheronimus Bosch: de verlossing van de wereld (Ghent: Ludion, 2002), 118–20. []
  23. For Philip II’s inventory, see Paul Vandenbroeck, “The Spanish inventarios reales and Hieronymus Bosch,” in Jos Koldeweij, Bernard Vermet, and Barbera van Kooij, eds., Hieronymus Bosch: New Insights into his Life and Work (Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, 2001), 54: “Otra lienço de borrón en que hay un elefante y otros disparates de Hierónimo Bosco.” For the tapestry series, see Paul Vandenbroeck, “Meaningful Caprices: Folk Culture, Middle-Class Ideology (ca. 1480–1510) and Aristocratic Recuperation (ca. 1530–1570),” Jaarboek Koninklijk Museum voor Schonen Kunsten (2009): 212–69, esp. 254–60. []
  24. Private collection, Corella (watercolor on canvas, 153 x 233 cm), illustrated in Koldeweij, Vandenbroeck, and Vermet, Hieronymus Bosch, 117. []
  25. It is of course difficult to know how many impressions of Hameel’s Besieged Elephant were produced, or how popular it was, but it is the rarest of Hameel’s Boschian prints today. The only two surviving impressions are in London’s British Museum and Vienna’s Albertina. []
  26. As first noted by Bartsch in 1808, the fact that the “bosche” inscription appears on Hameel’s prints of varying subjects, some unrelated to Bosch, confirms that it is a place designation and not a reference to Bosch’s name. Bartsch, The Illustrated Bartsch, 9.II, 232. []
  27. For more on this point, see Bass, “Hieronymus Bosch and his Legacy as ‘Inventor.’ ” []
  28. See Bass and Wyckoff, Beyond Bosch, 99, 133, for examples of figural details that Pieter Bruegel the Elder culled from Hameel’s Boschian compositions and employed in his own Bosch-inspired print series, the Seven Deadly Sins (1556–58). See also the later renditions of Hameel’s Last Judgment in ibid., 130–39, cats. 12–14. []
  29. Ibid., 144–49, cat. 16, with prior literature. []
  30. Gülru Necipoğlu, The Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005), 68, 117–18. []
  31. Bass and Wyckoff, Beyond Bosch, 198–203, cat. 27. []
  32. Bosch, alternatively Bos, means forest or wood. Van den Bos, who appears in documents as Balthasar Gheertsen (Gheertsone), signed his works in various ways, including the latinized Sylvius, or with the initials BS or BB. (Note that the central lower edge of the impression illustrated has been repaired, and part of the signature has been redrawn erroneously so that it reads “B S H” instead of “B S F,” the F standing for fecit, or “made it,” in Latin.) Van den Bos has received little attention in the literature; most references state simply that he is not related to the marginally better known artist and engraver Cornelis Bos. For the most detailed information on his life and work see Waldemar Deluga, “Prints by Balthasar van den Bos from the Collection of Albrecht von Saebisch,” Delineavit et Sculpsit 17 (1997): 1–6; see also Ilsink, Bosch en Bruegel als Bosch, 117–122, including notes on his dates and activity in Antwerp; Jan Van der Stock, Printing Images in Antwerp. The Introduction of Printmaking in a City: Fifteenth Century to 1585, trans. Beverly Jackson (Rotterdam: Sound and Vision Interactive, 1997): 276, 390–391; Sune Schéle, Cornelis Bos: A Study of the Origins of the Netherland Grotesque (Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell, 1965): 25, 159, 207, 221; Pieter van der Coelen, “Cornelis Bos: Where Did He Go? Some New Discoveries and Hypotheses about a Sixteenth-Century Engraver and Publisher,” Simiolus 23, no. 2/3 (1995): 119–146. []
  33. Ilsink, Bosch en Bruegel als Bosch, 119, who also notes that he had arrived in Antwerp in 1543. []
  34. Evidence for self-publication can be found in a document showing the plates being used as collateral for a loan in 1568; see Van der Stock, Printing Images in Antwerp, 390–391. []
  35. The painting in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, considered the dominant version but still, according to some sources, postdating Bosch, comes closest to the print’s composition, lacking only the left-most figure who carries away the stolen purse of the frog-vomiting woman. The roundel version (published as in a California private collection) shares a similar focus on the conjuror and his victims, while the other two paintings add another scene of quackery to the right along with the gallows set in a town square. The most in-depth discussions of the subject remain: Jeffrey Hamburger, “Bosch’s ‘Conjuror’: An Attack on Magic and Sacramental Heresy,” Simiolus 14 (1984): 4–23; Lotte Brand Philip, “The Peddler by Hieronymus Bosch, A Study in Detection,” Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 25 (1958): 1–81; and Dirk Bax, “Bezwaren tegen L. Brand Philips Interpretatie van Jeroen Bosch’ marskramer, goochelaar, keisnijder en voorgrond van hooiwagenpaneel,” Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 13 (1962): 1–54. See Bass and Wyckoff, Beyond Bosch, 198–203, cat. 27, for further references. On the dating of the St.-Germain-en-Laye panel, see Vandenbroeck, Jheronimus Bosch: de verlossing, 71. []
  36. Brand Philip, “The Peddler,” 25, corrects the spelling but does not otherwise identify Marcolf. For extensive literature on the subject of Solomon and Marcolf, see Jan M. Ziolkowski, ed. and trans., Solomon and Marcolf (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008); Nancy M. Bradbury and Scott Bradbury, eds., The Dialogue of Solomon and Marcolf: A Dual-Language Edition from Latin and Middle English Printed Editions (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2012); Nancy Mason Bradbury, “Rival Wisdom in the Latin Dialogue of Solomon and Marcolf,” Speculum 83 (2008): 331–65; Sabine Griese, Salomon und Markolf: ein literarischer Komplex im Mittelalter und in der frühen Neuzeit (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1999); Malcolm Jones, “Marcolf the Trickster in Late Mediaeval Art and Literature or: The Mystery of the Bum in the Oven,” in Gillian Bennett, ed., Spoken in Jest (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1991): 139–174; Michael Curschmann, “Markolf tanzt,” in Johannes Janota, et al, eds., Festschrift Walter Haug und Burghard Wachinger (Tübingen 1992): vol. 2, 967–9; Hedda Ragotzky, “Der Bauer in der Narrenrolle. Zur Funktion ‘verkehrter Welt’ im frühen Nürnberger Fastnachtspiel,” in: Horst Wenzel, ed., Typus und Individualität im Mittelalter (Munich 1983): 77–101. See Ziolkowski, 107, 117, 315–316 re: variant names and merging of related characters. []
  37. This shift away from Marcolf’s depiction as an ugly peasant is evident in 16th-century carnival plays, for example in Nuremberg; see Griese, Salomon und Markolf, 239–265; and also Ragotzky, “Der Bauer in der Narrenrolle,” 89–101. In van den Bos’s print, the accomplice who is about to carry away the woman’s purse is more like the traditional Marcolf: short with grimacing features, a prominent codpiece, patched clothing and dilapidated shoes. See note 36 above for further sources, and Jones, “Marcolf the Trickster,” 153 in particular regarding the motif of “burst shoes.” []
  38. See Bass, “Hieronymus Bosch and his Legacy as ‘Inventor.’ ” []
  39. This clumsiness of execution is shared with a handful of other prints engraved and published by the artist depicting vernacular subjects such as Shrovetide and the Village Surgeon, those compositions attributed to Maarten van Cleve. F.W.H. Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings, and Woodcuts, ca. 14501700 (Amsterdam: Menno Herzberger: 1949–2010), vol. 3, 118, nos. 14 and 15. []
  40. A clear chronology of van den Bos’s prints remains to be sorted out, but he was apparently engraving for Cock by 1548; see Deluga, “Prints by Balthasar van den Bos,” 2. On the dearth of existing literature, see note 31 above. []