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500 years of Hieronymus Bosch

Innovative, visionary and imaginative: the work of the late 15th-century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch was truly groundbreaking. On display in museums around the world, his paintings still inspire countless visitors. 2016 marks the 500th anniversary of his death. There will be a series of events throughout the whole year to celebrate the life of this ingenious painter. All events will take place in ’s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch), his home town and one of the most beautiful medieval cities in the Netherlands.

Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) lived his entire life in this city. He was born as Jheronimus van Aken, but later in his career he changed his last name to Bosch after the city. He was quite successful and received numerous prestigious assignments. However his work only acquired international fame after his death.

A detail from the Garden of Earthly Delights
A detail from the Garden of Earthly Delights


The Haywain

Dream-like images filled with hallucinations

Hieronymus Bosch is known for his unique style of unbridled dream-like images filled with illusions and hallucinations. Demons, half-people and machines feature in many of his paintings and drawings. The painter is often described as the inspiration for Surrealism, an art form that emerged in the 20th century, with Salvador Dalí as one of its most important representatives. The work of Hieronymus Bosch still enjoys worldwide prestige. His paintings provide a detailed and yet very unusual reflection of life in the Middle Ages.

One of his most famous works is “The Haywain”, one of the most valuable paintings in the collection at the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. Spain’s King Philip II was a huge Bosch collector and bought the triptych in 1570 for his private collection. The painting will be shipped to Den Bosch especially for the exhibit at the Noordbrabants Museum.

Masterpieces under one roof

In 2016, Den Bosch will host a year of events to celebrate the life of Hieronymus Bosch. The highlight will be the Bosch exhibit at the Noordbrabants Museum. From 13 February through 8 May 2016 you will be able to admire Bosch’s masterpieces. This will be the largest retrospective of the work of Hieronymus Bosch ever held in the Netherlands, and his work will be flown in from all around the world. In addition to the exhibit, the city will also host a comprehensive international cultural programme with music, dance, theatre, circus, games and experiences. One of these is the Bosch Experience: an informative walking, boating and museum route along various landmarks from the days of Hieronymus Bosch. See the


for a complete overview of the programme.

The work of Hieronymus Bosch comes alive