Now onto the main reason for travelling all the way to the Netherlands. This whole 4 day holiday came out of deciding to travel 337 miles to see the Hieronymus Bosch – Visions of Genius exhibition held in his birthplace. A long way to travel for an art exhibition but I’ll attempt to justify this in my next post!
Aside from the seeing the exhibition, I spent most of the day wandering around this small Dutch city – and the least watery of all those I’ve visited although there still is the obligatory canal but not the profusion of them there is some places. The city itself has few tourist attractions with the exception of the museum of the exhibition and a gothic cathedral. They also have a Bosch centre containing replicas of the eponymous artists work. However as I luckily got to see nearly all his original pieces, I gave this a miss. So time to let the pictures do the talking:
The city had also laid own a sculpture trail of life-size replicas some of the fantastical creatures from Bosch’s work. The creature on the left is not only eating a naked man, he’s also sitting on a 15th century toilet or “close stool”. And I thought he was just sitting on a wooden chair – advantages of having an art historian for a parent!
The Groot Tuighuis – a medieval armoury also had a small exhibition of 15th century archaeology which was personally fascinating with remains from rosary production visible in deer antlers and small child’s toys. It’s these kinds of small objects that bring to life the forgotten everyday lives of those from this period that personally often make my degree so fascinating because of their relatability, more so than the “buried treasure” that often gains prominence in the subject in the media.
And last but not least – I spotted another hardcore Bosch fan wearing Doc Martens with scenes from his masterwork – ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights”. If anyone knows where I can get a pair of these snazzy numbers I would be eternally grateful. Feeling thoroughly inadequate in the footwear department, it was however sadly time to fly home after a thoroughly enjoyable few days scratching the surface of the Netherlands.