The bizarre and fantastic paintings of the Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch have puzzled and intrigued their viewers for centuries. Following years of research which have taken her to every corner of Europe, Lynda Harris offers surprising new insights into Bosch's detailed and cryptic visual fantasies. Drawing on a wide variety of new sources, she deciphers Bosch's symbolism as the hidden expression of his heretical religious beliefs. She argues that Bosch belonged to the Cathar faith, a Manichean religious heresy which was persecuted and driven underground by the Church in the Middle Ages. This fabulously illustrated study reveals that while Bosch was carrying out commissions for his wealthy Catholic patrons, he was all the while coding his own inner heretical convictions in the hidden meanings of his paintings, as a record for posterity of the beliefs of his threatened religious sect.
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(240mm x 170mm x 27mm)
Publisher: Floris Books
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UK Kirkus Review »
Hieronymus Bosch's bizarre and fantastic images have puzzled and intrigued people for centuries; eccentric and unorthodox, they have inspired a wealth of theories. They present a conception of the world which many, art historians as well as ordinary gallery visitors, find bewildering. Harris interprets the symbolism in Bosch's work as the hidden expression of his heretical religious beliefs: he was, she argues, a member of the Cathars, a Manichean religious heresy which was persecuted and driven underground by the Church in the Middle Ages. Her copiously illustrated study claims that while Bosch was carrying out commissions for wealthy Catholic patrons, he was all the while coding his own heretical inner convictions in the hidden meanings of his paintings, using elaborate symbols of his threatened religious sect as a record for posterity. Agree or disagree with the conclusion, this is a fascinating study. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Lynda Harris
Lynda Harris was born in New York City and spent her childhood there, as well as in Florence and Geneva. She also lived in Jerusalem before settling in London with her British husband and two children. She has a B.A. in History of Art from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, and graduate degrees from Boston University and the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Her main research was on paintings of the Renaissance period. She has worked in museums but also spent many years giving classes to extra-mural students in London. In these classes, she began to develop ideas about Bosch which have evolved over some fifteen years to become her major interest. She now spends most of her time on writing and research.