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Bosch (Phaidon Art & Ideas)

4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516), one of the major artists of the Northern Renaissance, had a seemingly inexhaustible imagination. Known as the creator of disturbing demons and spectacular hellscapes, he also painted the Garden of Earthly Delights, where gleeful naked youths feast on giant strawberries. Little is known of Bosch's life and his art has remained enigmatic, variou ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Phaidon Press
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How does one make Bosch dull...? Let's ask Dr. Dixon...

Perhaps I'm being unfair to the author..., But I didn't much like this book, and so have given it up.

The book is full of a wide range of specifics regarding medieval chemistry, alchemy, proverbs, etc. etc., and if one is 'working' (as academics like to say) on a particular triptych, say (the chapters can be read more or less independently), then one will find much of use here -- though even then the book is not really properly footnoted or
Madeeha Maqbool
Feb 26, 2016 Madeeha Maqbool rated it really liked it
The main reason I wanted to read this book was the demonic and subversive creatures skulking around the edges and in the shadows in Bosch's paintings. Sadly, any talk of those was missing from this book. Nevertheless, it was a good book and told me things about Bosch that I found fascinating.
Mar 08, 2015 Noelia rated it it was amazing
Great book about Bosch work I think I had not read anything so specific, full of details and well prepared regarding Bosch artwork until I found this book. Laura Dixon develops a great analysis of the artist and its time that is fundamental to understand his pieces. Unlike other artist of its time, Bosch life is not so popularly known, his persona has been surrounded with cryptic messages and not everyone thinks of him as a well versed erudite man. Yes, indeed he was a great inspiration for surr ...more
Dec 23, 2013 Megan added it
Shelves: grotesque, satire
i've always had a casual interest in meister h. bosch, but seeing a panel from The Last Judgment in munich amped it into a Serious Pursuit. possibly the first surrealist, people say, but it seems like the early dutch renaissance imagination was pretty grotesque in the first place, a leftover from the medieval era. still, the mystery of hieronymus bosch (was the art created by several people or by one artist?) and the nightmarish chimeras he's so well known for are so stunning/striking/AWESOME, a ...more
Sam Adams
Feb 27, 2008 Sam Adams rated it it was amazing
Every page is a wealth of knowledge. Dixon demystifies Bosch, and makes sense of his paintings by going back to the time of the artist. Everything was, in this time of Pre-Reformation, considered through a scope of astronomy, astrology, and alchemy, the science of the time, relative to christianity. Bosch has always been one of my favorite artists, but Dixon has exposed the countless metaphors Bosch uses in his paintings to show, for one, the moral irresponsibility of human beings, a subject per ...more
brian tanabe
Nov 14, 2007 brian tanabe rated it really liked it
I picture Bosch as a little troll/rumplestiltskin figure and marvel at what must have gone through his beautifully devious little mind (Garden of Earthly Delights definitely comes to mind). I love the Middle ages, especially in fiction and film, and while it would be tough to call Bosch even a late Middle age artist, his images for me describe those times well. And while Surrealism started centuries later, you must consider him in the discussion. (Again, Garden of Earthly Delights comes to mind. ...more
Jul 18, 2007 Jamie rated it it was amazing
There's a marvellous selection here of Bosch's beautiful, terrifying, and hypnotic paintings. Laurinda Dixon's analysis of the artwork is excellent - a single image ends up taking you on a journey through the superstitions, beliefs, customs, and symbols of Bosch's time. Dixon explains what she can, but there is still a lot going on in the paintings where the meaning may be lost forever.

The chapter about the Temptation of St Anthony was the highlight for me - maybe the most interesting thing I'v
Mar 10, 2016 Dennis rated it it was amazing
Alchemist interpretation of Bosch' work
Aug 08, 2010 Mike rated it it was amazing
If the art of Hieronymus Bosch has ever struck you as modern and surrealist then this book will set you straight. Dixon situates Bosch within the historical moment in which he lived and creates an interesting portrait of the medieval mind. I don't read the text of every art book I buy, but this one is fascinating.
Nov 19, 2013 Jing rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
Interesting and informative, one of my best reading in 2013.
Apr 25, 2009 Justinian rated it it was amazing
best bosch book i have encountered...this woman rocks!
A J rated it it was amazing
May 02, 2016
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