Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch, also Jeroen Bosch, (c. 1450 – August, 1516) was a prolific Dutch painter of the 15th and 16th century. Many of his works depict sin and human moral failings. Bosch used images of demons, half-human animals and machines to evoke fear and confusion and to portray the evil of man. The works contain complex, highly original, imaginative, and dense use of symbolic figures and iconography, some of which was obscure even in his own time. He is said to have been an inspiration to the surrealism movement in the 20th century.

His true name was Hieronymus (or Jeroen) van Aken. He signed some of his paintings with Bosch (pronounced as Boss in Dutch), derived from his birthplace 's-Hertogenbosch. In Spanish he is often called El Bosco.

Born to a family of a Flemish painters, he spent most of his life in 's-Hertogenbosch, a town in the south of today's Netherlands. In 1463, some 4000 houses in the town were destroyed by a catastrophic fire, which the then about 13-year-old Bosch may have witnessed. This might have been a contributing factor in his obsession with Hell. He became a popular painter and even received commissions from abroad. In 1488 he joined the Brotherhood of Our Lady, an arch conservative religious group of some 40 influential citizens of 's-Hertogenbosch.