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Hieronymus Bosch: The Complete Paintings and Drawings [Hardcover]

Jos Koldeweij , Paul Vandenbroeck , Bernard Vermet
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

24 Sep 2001
Hieronymous Bosch (c.14553-1516) is one of the most enigmatic of painters, and among the most universally popular. His mysterious scenes of devils, monsters and other strange creatures tweak the imagination but very little is known about the meaning of his paintings or about his life. This book attempts to show how Bosch's ideas were consistent with those of his contemporaries in northern Europe, who include the scholar and humanist Erasmus, a major figure in the Reformation.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (24 Sep 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810967359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810967359
  • Product Dimensions: 32.6 x 24.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 761,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jos Koldeweij is Professor of the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and a recognized specialist in the fine and decorative arts of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance in the Netherlands Paul Vandenbroeck is curator of the Koninklijk Museum van Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, and a specialist on Bosch. Bernard Vermet is former curator at the Noord-Brabantsmuseum in 's-Hertogenbosch. He is co-curator of the exhibition this book accompanies at the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable reference. 12 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
A useful resource for anybody wanting to look at Bosch's work, and quite a good companion when reading more profound but more sparsely illustrated texts.

Better than adequate
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Get Your Glasses Out 2 April 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I've been thinking about buying this book and finally came across it in a bookstore so I was able to preview it before buying it on amazon.[com] I'm glad I did because like other reviews, the main disappointment with this book is that the paintings are reproduced small. They're reproduced almost as footnotes to the text but my main reason in buying an art book is for the visuals. And with Bosch, there are so many details but they were just too small to see here. The art should have been given a full page without text surrounding an image. This was a big let down, I was looking forward to buying this book, but now I'll pass on it. With the small reproductions it just isn't worth the price. The 1 star is for Bosch's art which is still great despite the poor book design.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Look elsewhere for Bosch... 24 Feb 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book has three essay chapters. The first chapter deals with Bosch's home town..... anything about Bosch's home town. Details are thrown in because they are known, even when they do not add to our understanding of Bosch. The second chapter discusses a new method for dating the wood panels that Bosch and others painted on, and questions whether some paintings can really be attributed to Bosch. This could be an interesting discussion if there was more explanation of how the paintings had been judged and attributed to Bosch previously. Instead it is new data without much context. The final chapter deals with the imagery of Bosch. This has the potential to be the most enlightening, but falls well short. By the end the reader may know a little more about Bosch, but not enough to warrant wading through this book.
Now all could still be forgiven if the presentation of the artwork was good. Because Bosch is enjoyable without explanations. But the presentation in the book is not. The paintings and drawings appear scattered throughout with no rhyme or reason. The numbering of the pictures is frustrating to follow. You will be searching back and forth through the book looking for the pictures that correspond to the point being made in the text.
When you do find the picture, you probably will be disappointed. Even the quintessential Bosch work " The Garden of Earthly Delights" is presented in quarter page size. In contrast Bosch imitators are given larger representation. I don't understand why.
The poor lay-out even extends to page numbering. There is a reason for numbering the pages on the outer margins, away from the spine. This was brought home very strongly as I searched for the page numbers halfway along the pages near the spine. This may sound a trivial complaint, but this book seemed designed to test the patience of the reader.
I got this book for half price, but that was still paying way too much. There are far better and cheaper books out there on Bosch. Go with them.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best Recent Introduction to Bosch 22 Dec 2004
By melquist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read most of the monographs on Bosch, and this represents the best recent effort to present Bosch's works on an introductory level. Koldeweij examines Bosch's obscure biography; Vermet discusses the problems of dating and attribution of Bosch's works; Vandenbroeck looks at some of the themes in Bosch's iconography. The only problem with the book is a lack of imagery details. The reproductions are beautiful, but there are not enough of them. The publishers should have made the book much larger with more images. The publishers should have used Charles de Tolnay's huge monograph for a model. As of yet, there is no definitive Bosch monograph that combines Tolnay's amount of image examples and Dirk Bax's exhaustive iconographic analyses. But if I had to pick a good introduction to Bosch and his works, this would be it.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Look elsewhere for Bosch... 24 Feb 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book has three essay chapters. The first chapter deals with Bosch's home town..... anything about Bosch's home town. Details are thrown in because they are known, even when they do not add to our understanding of Bosch. The second chapter discusses a new method for dating the wood panels that Bosch and others painted on, and questions whether some paintings can really be attributed to Bosch. This could be an interesting discussion if there was more explanation of how the paintings had been judged and attributed to Bosch previously. Instead it is new data without much context. The final chapter deals with the imagery of Bosch. This has the potential to be the most enlightening, but falls well short. By the end the reader may know a little more about Bosch, but not enough to warrant wading through this book.
Now all could still be forgiven if the presentation of the artwork was good. Because Bosch is enjoyable without explanations. But the presentation in the book is not. The paintings and drawings appear scattered throughout with no rhyme or reason. The numbering of the pictures is frustrating to follow. You will be searching back and forth through the book looking for the pictures that correspond to the point being made in the text. When you do find the picture, you probably will be disappointed. Even the quintessential Bosch work " The Garden of Earthly Delights" is presented in quarter page size. In contrast Bosch imitators are given larger representation. I don't understand why. The poor lay-out even extends to page numbering. There is a reason for the convention of numbering pages on the outer margins away from the spine. This was brought home very strongly as I searched for the page numbers halfway along the pages near the spine. This may sound a trivial complaint, but this book seemed designed to test the patience of the reader. "Luckily" I got this book for half price, but that was still paying way too much. There are far better and cheaper books out there on Bosch. Go with them.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 18 Nov 2008
By henry claman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book accompanied a Bosch retrospective in Rotterdam, 2001. It is not a catalogue nor an illustrated biography. It is made up of 3 art history essays (without references) and lots of pictures. The latter are "OK" - not more. Many are too small. Most of the captions are in minute type, not helpful in content and sometimes not even near the picture. Some pictures have no identification that I could find. Too bad - it could have been so much better.
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