Hieronymus Bosch or Jerom Bos, 1450–1516, was a Flemish painter. Little is known of his life and training, although it is clear that he belonged to a family of painters. His art, prints and posters, executed in brilliant colors and with an uncanny mastery of detail, are filled with strangely animated objects, bizarre plants and animals, monstrous, amusing, or diabolical figures. He was inspired by folk legends, allegorical poems, moralizing religious literature, and aspects of late Gothic art.
Such works as the Garden of Earthly Delights (Prado) appear to be intricate allegories; their symbolism, however, is obscure and has consistently defied unified interpretation. Bosch clearly had an interest in depicting the grotesque, the diabolical, the exuberant, and the macabre I nhis art, prints and posters. He also may have been the first European painter to depict scenes of everyday life, although often with a strong element of the bizarre.
King Philip II of Spain collected some of his finest creations. The Temptation of St. Anthony (Lisbon) and The Last Judgment were recurring themes. Other examples of his art, prints and posters may be seen in the Escorial and in Brussels. Examples of the Adoration of the Magi are in the Metropolitan Museum and in the Philadelphia Museum, which also has the Mocking of Christ. Bosch, who deeply influenced the work of Peter Bruegel the Elder, was hailed in the 20th century as a forerunner of the surrealists, and his work continues to influence many contemporary artists. Bosch, who had many imitators, signed only seven of his paintings. Over the years, scholars have attributed to Bosch fewer and fewer of the works originally thought to be his, and by the beginning of the 21st century, only 25 to 30 were definitively ascribed to him.