An event such as the Bosch: 5th Centenary Exhibition immediately arouses in anyone visiting it an insatiable interest in the painter: the more you know about him, the deeper you want to delve into the mystery surrounding his person and his work…
The must-have book if you want to have an up-to-date “Bosch library” is the catalogue for the 5th Centenary Exhibition programmed in the Museo del Prado, from 31 May until 11 September 2016. Coordinated by the exhibition's curator, Pilar Silva Maroto, in her essay on Bosch, she provides the Prado's definitive conclusions on the works it holds, and the latest word in technical documentation. This is followed by essays from the most authoritative specialists on the artist: Eric De Bruyn writes about Bosch's sources, Paul Vandenbroeck about his values and ideology, Larry Silver about sins and the punishment thereof, Reindert L. Falkenburg addresses the The Garden of Earthly Delights and Fernando Checa Cremades deals with Bosch's reception in the Hapsburg court in Flanders and Spain during the 16th century. Within the catalogue, sheets are distributed in various topics: “Bosch and s’Hertogenbosch”, “The New Testament: infancy, public life and Passion of Christ”, “The Saints”, “The world and the final stages”, and “The Garden of Earthly Delights and the profane works”.
As a unique companion to the catalogue, the Museo del Prado has, for the first time ever, published a comic. A retrospective as spectacular as this one merits special actions, and El tríptico de los encantados (una pantomima bosquiana) [The triptych of the enchanted (a Boschian pantomime)] is precisely that. The Museum commissionedMax, the legendary Spanish illustrator, to reinterpret Bosch's universe in his own inimitable way, and the result couldn't have been more heterodox, original and striking: 100% Max! 100% Bosch!
The triptych of the enchanted is a strange fusion of two boundless imaginations: those of the genius of the comic strip, Max, and the master of The Garden of Earthly Delights. Every so often two prodigious minds can come together and, even though they are separated by five centuries, the result is magical. Eschewing a biography, emulation, a mere homage or the anecdotic, Max has succeed in immersing himself in the universe of the most mysterious artist ever to have existed and in offering us a striking comic. Three stories which function as a triptych, intertwined characters, concentric circles... A delicious rarity which will undoubtedly stand the test of time.
But in addition to the publications edited by the Museum, in the Prado Shop we aim to offer you a selection of books to help you to study this fascinating figure in greater depth. We start with the narrators: their subjective and enlightening viewpoints uncover other facets of the master. If some years back, he fascinated thousands of readers with his personal vision of the Way of St James (Roads To Santiago: Detours and Riddles in the Land and History of Spain), Cees Nooteboom, whom you will also hear very soon in the documentary El Bosco, el jardín de los sueños (Bosch, the garden of dreams) directed by José Luis López Linares and co-produced by the Museo del Prado, once again focuses his attention on our painter, in a totally personal—but no less well documented—approach entitled A Dark Premonition Journeys to Heironymous Bosch.
You’d prefer a classic? So join the pilgrimage brimming with satire, humour, astronomy and alchemy featured in Geoffrey Chaucer's legendary Canterbury Tales.
The voices of the learned shed light on the myriad facets of Bosch in essays such as Bosch, Le jardin des délices, by the historian Reindert L. Falkenburg (Vice Provost NYU Abu Dhabi), director of the forthcoming Prado Chair devoted to Bosch, and author of the original idea behind the aforementioned documentary Bosch, the garden of dreams.
Understanding Bosch is understanding the history of modern European monarchies (La Casa de Borgoña, by José Eloy Hortal Muñoz & Félix Labrador Arroyo), the society surrounding it (The Waning of the Middle Ages, by Johan Huizinga), the metaphoric power of metamorphoses (by the novelist and critic Marina Warner, on Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self) or discovering the most famous immersion in modern asceticism from the Mexican Agustín Magaña (Imitación de Cristo, which is said to be the most translated book ever, after the Bible!).
And to finish off this bibliographic feast, we propose a "detailed" tour through the characteristic themes of Bosch from Till-Holger Borchert (Bosch in detail) or through his darker material (Los monstruos de El Bosco, by Luis Peñalver Alhambra).