Beyond Bosch: The Afterlife of a Renaissance Master in Print
Beyond Bosch: The Afterlife of a Renaissance Master in Print
by Marisa Bass, assistant professor of art history and archaeology at Washington University in Saint Louis; Elizabeth Wyckoff, curator of prints, drawings, and photographs at the Saint Louis Art Museum;
essays by Matthijs Ilsink, of the Bosch Research and Conservation Project; and Peter Fuhring, of the Fondation Custodia in Paris.

The Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516) captured the imaginations of his Renaissance patrons with paintings of hellfire and hybrid monsters, and his reputation has only grown since. In the wake of his death, Bosch became nothing short of a highly desirable brand, a bestseller among sixteenth-century artists. This exhibition explores arguably the most powerful engine that fomented the artist's afterlife: his transmission through the growing and highly sophisticated market for European prints.

Printmaking flourished in Bosch's lifetime, but only a small handful of engravings by his contemporary Alart du Hameel have any potential connection with Bosch himself. The Boschian print phenomenon truly exploded after the artist's death in the mid-16th century under the aegis of the pioneering Antwerp print publisher Hieronymus Cock, and maintained force into the 17th century. These later prints are not literal reproductions of known works by the artist. Rather, they are images inspired by Bosch's unique legacy of artistic invention. A key figure in this phenomenon was the great Antwerp artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, who figured himself as "a second Bosch" when he launched his own career in print at Hieronymus Cock's publishing house.

This exhibition and catalog of Boschian prints draws almost exclusively from a private collection, with a handful of strategic loans, in order to tell the story of Bosch's afterlife in print for the first time. It demonstrates the many ways prints could popularize an artist like Bosch, transforming his name into an international brand associated with everything from monstrous drolleries to moral dramas, and serving as a launching ground for many artists after him.

232 pages; 11 x 8 1/2 inches
soft bound
Copyright 2015 Saint Louis Art Museum


Item #039735