Reindert Falkenburg, born in Haarlem, the Netherlands, in 1952. Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam. Professor of Art History at Leiden University.
Fellow (1 September 2008 – 30 June 2009)
PIETER AERTSEN AND THE RISE OF A HUMANIST ART DISCOURSE IN THE LOW COUNTRIES IN THE MID-16TH CENTURY
During my stay at NIAS I finished the first draft of a book-length study on the “Garden of Earthly Delights”, a key work in the oeuvre of the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450-1516). The thesis underlying the book is that Bosch created this work towards the very end of the fifteenth century for a select audience of high nobility at the Burgundian court. While no records survive regarding the original commission or reception, the study argues that it is possible, by closely reading the painting in relation to the work of sixteenth century followers and late-medieval iconographic traditions, to reconstruct a particular set of illustrated texts that not only formed the point of departure for Bosch’s invention, but also functioned as the frame of reference for the intended audience. The study expounds how a particular mode of imaginative hermeneutics was influenced by the reading of favoured illuminated manuscripts collected at the Burgundian court such as De civitate dei, the Speculum humanae salvationis, the Roman de la Rose, and the Bible moralisé and will have been practiced in festive reception sessions at the Brussels palace of count Henry III of Nassau.