Fools, Gluttony & Lust, Together At Last

bosch_ship_of_fools_gluttony_lust_united.jpg
top: Ship of Fools;
center: pixels about the width of a 19th century saw blade;
bottom: Allegory of Gluttony and Lust

The Noordbrabants Museum has organized an epic show of Hieronymous Bosch that reunites 17 of the artist's 24 known works. The exact number is in flux, though, because of deattributions [touchy!] and reattributions associated with the show's years-long research phase. Also, it's not clear whether this counts as one work or two:

The Noordbrabants show also unites dismembered works. These include The Ship of Fools (Louvre, Paris) and the Allegory of Gluttony and Lust (Yale University Art Gallery) of 1500-10, which were probably sawn in two in the early 19th century. For the first time they are being displayed together, unframed and truly reunited.
Maybe it's the Renaissance altarpiece student-turned-MBA in me, but I just love this.

These are only two of four known pieces of what is believed to be Bosch's original work. Fools, Gluttony and Lust are the inner left panel of a folding triptych; the inner right panel is now known as Death and the Miser and is in the National Gallery in DC. The central panel, which presumably showed Pride, Envy, Lust, Anger, and Sloth, is missing.

The NGA's research says their panel was cut to veneer width and laminated onto another piece of wood around 1900. Why? Because there was a painting on the back, too. A large round panel called The Wayfarer is now in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. None of these panels are big; the wings are 13 inches wide, and the rondel is 28-inches across, so it's not like they wouldn't fit the house or the frame. No, it was strictly business.

Interestingly, another work in the show, with a similar wayfarer, Haywain Triptych, was brought to Spain in the 16th century, broken up and parted out in 1848, and eventually reunited at the Prado in 1914. A copy was made for the king.

Prado pulls two works from landmark Bosch exhibition [theartnewspaper]
Previously, related: On Manet's The Execution of Maximilian, which got cut up, and was reassembled by Degas
Oh, I guess that means this is related, too: A Domestic Proposal: At home with Voice of Fire

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: February 15, 2016.

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