Palazzo Ducale

Doge's Palace


ROOM 7 – The apotheosis of Bosch in the seventeenth century

Jheronimus Bosch and Venice
Venice, Palazzo Ducale, Doge’s Apartment
February 18 – June 4, 2017


ROOM 7 – The apotheosis of Bosch in the seventeenth century

In the last years of the sixteenth century, we see a minor revival in “Bosch-like” infernal scenes at the hands of painters such as Jan Brueghel the Elder and Roelandt Savery. These artists worked mainly in northern and central Europe, but it is in Venice that we note a final and surprising revival in the repertoire of the pictor gryllorum Jheronimus Bosch through the production of a German painter from Augsburg but Venetian by adoption, Joseph Heintz the Younger.

Drawing mainly on the various prints “after Bosch”, but also in some cases on the artist’s original works that had belonged to Domenico Grimani and came to light in the early seventeenth century in the Doge’s Palace, Heintz became a specialist of “strigossi” or “witchery” (Marco Boschini), which may seem an anachronism by the middle of the seventeenth century. These works, however, appealed to the typically Baroque taste for wonders, which was cultivated with particular passion in Venice, and which sought to surprise, to make the viewer wonder at the unexpected, spectacular effects, which were maybe deliberately anachronistic. The rarefied iconography that characterises many of these paintings by Heintz only increase that effect.