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'Hieronymus Bosch: Visions and Nightmares' - Nils Büttner (State Academy of Art and Design, Stuttgart), Rembrandt Duits (Deputy Curator, Warburg Institute Photographic Collection), François Quiviger (Warburg Institute)
Bosch’s paintings have elicited a number a responses over the centuries. Some have tried to explain them as alchemical symbolism, others as coded messages of a secret cult, and still others have tried to psychoanalyze them. Some have placed Bosch among the Adamites, others among the Cathars, and others among the Brethren of the Free Spirit, seeing in his paintings an occult life of free love, strange rituals, mysterious drugs, and witchcraft. As Büttner shows, Bosch was—if anything—a hardworking painter, commissioned by aristocrats and courtesans, as all painters of his time were. Analyzing his life and paintings against the backdrop of contemporary Dutch culture and society, Büttner offers one of the clearest biographical sketches to date alongside beautiful reproductions of some of Bosch’s most important work.

In this book, Nils Büttner draws on a wealth of historical documents to offer a fresh and insightful look at one of history’s most peculiar artists on the five-hundredth anniversary of his death.

Nils Büttner is professor of art history at the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart, Germany. He is the author of Landscape Painting, The History of Gardens in Painting, and Otto Dix and New Objectivity

Rembrandt Duits is Deputy Curator of the Warburg Institute Photographic Collection.

Renaissance Lives is a series of biographies published by Reaktion Books as well as a series of conversations discussing the ways in which individuals transmitted or changed the lives of traditions, ideas and images. Click here for details.

In the first season staff, fellows and former fellows of the Warburg Institute will discuss the lives of Petrarch, Botticelli, Bosch, Erasmus, Paracelsus, Tycho Brahe, Rembrandt, Rubens and Newton with the authors of their biographies published in the Renaissance Lives Reaktion series.