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"Bosch. The 5th Centenary Exhibition" at Museo del Prado, Madrid, 31.05.2016 - 11.09.2016.

MADRID.- The Museo del Prado is presenting the exhibition that marks the 5th centenary of the death of Jheronimus Bosch (on display until 11 September 2016), representing an unrepeatable opportunity to see a remarkable group of works comprising the eight original paintings by the artist to be found in Spain together with others loaned from collections and museums around the world. This represents the greatest number of Bosch’s works ever to be assembled, created by one of the most enigmatic and influential artists of the Renaissance. As such, the exhibition will encourage visitors to look deeper into his personal vision of the world through the spectacular installation in which Bosch’s most important triptychs are shown free-standing in order for both the fronts and backs to be visible. 

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), Tree-man, Pen, brown ink, 227 x 211 mmc. 1500–10. Vienna, Albertina.

Bosch. The 5th Centenary Exhibition focuses on the artist’s original works and is divided into seven sections. The first, “Bosch and ’s-Hertogenbosch”, locates visitors in the city where the artist lived throughout his life. Given the monographic character of this exhibition and due to the difficulty of establishing a chronology for Bosch’s works, his output has been divided into six thematic sections: The Childhood and Ministry of Christ; The Saints; From Paradise to Hell; The Garden of Earthly Delights; The World and Men: Mortal Sins and non-religious works; and The Passion of Christ.  

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos (recto). Oil on panel, 63 x 43.3 cm, c. 1505. Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie.

The exhibition also includes works produced in Bosch’s studio or by followers from now lost originals. Another group, which includes paintings, miniatures, engravings by Alart du Hameel, reliefs by Adrien van Wesel and the manuscript of the Comentario de la pintura by Felipe de Guevara, allows for a better understanding of the context in which Bosch produced his works, the personality of some of his patrons, such as Engelbert II of Nassau, and the status of painting in the 16th century. 

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), Christ Carrying the CrossOil on panel, 57,2 x 32 cm. Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Gemäldegalerie.

Thanks to Philip II’s interest in Bosch, Spain has the finest group of original paintings by the artist, all of which are included in the exhibition. The Prado, which together with Patrimonio Nacional inherited the Spanish royal collection, now houses six of his works, including the triptychs of The Garden of Earthly Delights, The Adoration of the Magi and The Haywain. These are now joined by Christ carrying the Cross from El Escorial, which has been generously sent by Patrimonio Nacional from the exhibition Jheronimus Bosch and El Escorial in order to be present in this one; and Saint John the Baptist from the Fundación Lázaro Galdiano, one of the best acquisitions made by the collector José Lázaro. These works can be seen alongside loans from Lisbon, London, Berlin, Vienna, Venice, Rotterdam, Paris, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, among other cities, making this exhibition a unique opportunity to enter the imagination of one of the most fascinating painters of world art.  

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), Death and the Miser. Oil on panel, 93 x 31 cm h., 1485 - 1490. Washington, D. C. National Gallery of Art. Samuel H. Kress Collection. 1952.5.33. 

The exhibition’s importance lies in the benefits that both the general public and experts alike will derive from its contemplation. In this sense, it is not only important but also necessary. The fact that for the first time it brings together most of the artist’s masterpieces will decisively contribute to resolving some of the questions that relate to his work, both with regard to establishing his corpus and reconsidering issues of dating.  

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), The Pedlar, The way of lifeOil on panel, 71 x 70,6 cm. Diám. 64 cm h., 1500. Rotterdam, Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Verworven met steun van / Acquired with the support of: Vereniging Rembrandt, D.G. van Beuningen, F.W. Koenigs en/and J.P. van der Schilden 1931.

Only the Museo del Prado is able to accept a challenge of this nature and the exhibition has been in preparation for many years. Firstly, through the systematic restoration of the paintings, thanks to the support of Fundación Iberdrola as a Benefactor Member of the Museum and the Sponsor of its Restoration Programme. In the months leading up to the exhibition this campaign has culminated with the restoration of The Adoration of the Magi Triptych, one of the artist’s masterpieces and a work whose beauty and quality are now even more evident, in addition to the restoration of The Temptation of Saint Anthony, which has regained its original arched top, an element that allows for both a better appreciation of the composition and an assessment of this unique version of a subject so often depicted by the artist.  

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), Saint Christopher carrying Jesus. Oil on panel, 113 x 71,5 cm, 1490 - 1505. Rotterdam, Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1940.

In addition, the Museo del Prado, which is a pioneer in the technical study of Bosch’s painting, has re-analysed his works using the most advanced scientific methods. Visitors to the exhibition can see the results of these studies in the infra-red reflectograph and the Xradiograph of The Garden of Earthly Delights, which reveal the creative process behind the work and show the surprising changes that Bosch made between the start of the underdrawing and the completion of the pictorial surface. The results of this research into Bosch’s work at the Prado, led by Pilar Silva, have been included in the accompanying catalogue, which also has contributions by leading experts on the artist such as Eric de Bruyn, Paul Vandenbroeck, Larry Silver, Reindert Falkenburg and Fernando Checa.

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), Saint Anthony Triptych. Oil on panel, 131.5 x 111.9 cm (centre panel); 131.5 x 53 cm (left and right panels), c. 1500–5. Lisbon, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga.

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), Visions of the Beyond. Oil on oak, 88,8 x 39,6 cm, Post. 1486. Venezia, Segretariato Regionale per il Veneto. Gallerie dell'Accademia. In deposito museale presso il Museo di Palazzo Grimani.

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), Visions of the Beyond. Oil on oak panel, 88,8 x 39,6 cm, Post. 1486. Venezia, Segretariato Regionale per il Veneto. Gallerie dell'Accademia. In deposito museale presso il Museo di Palazzo Grimani.

 

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), The Adoration of the Magi Triptych. Oil on panel, 133 x 71 cm (centre panel); 135 x 33 cm (left and right panels), c. 1494. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado.

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), The Haywain Triptych. Oil on panel, 133 x 100 cm (centre panel); 136.1 x 47.7 cm (left panel); 136.1 x 47.6 cm (right panel), c. 1512-15. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), The Garden of the Earthly Delights Triptych, detail. Oil on panel, 185.8 x 172.5 cm (centre panel); 185.8 x 76.5 cm (left and right panels), c. 1490–1500. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado. Depósito de Patrimonio Nacional.

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), Table of the Seven Deadly Sins. Oil on panel, 120 x 150 cm, c. 1505–10. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado. Depósito de Patrimonio Nacional.

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), The Temptations of Saint Anthony. Oil on oak panel, 73 x 52.5 cm, 1510 - 1515. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado. Depósito de Patrimonio Nacional.

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), The Temptations of Saint Anthony. Oil on oak panel, 70 x 115 cm, 1510 - 1515. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado. Depósito de Patrimonio Nacional.

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Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), Extracting the stone of madnessOil on oak panel, 48.5 x 34.5 cm, 1501 - 1505. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado. Depósito de Patrimonio Nacional.