Such is the length of time that has passed since Hieronymus Bosch's work took hold that there are now precious few directly attributed quotations available. This mirrors the similarly tricky task of separating from of his studio's from his own. We also include insightful views from others on Bosch's own achievements.

Famous Quotes by Hieronymus Bosch

For poor is the mind that always uses the ideas of others and invents none of its own.

Hieronymus Bosch whilst creating The Wood has Ears, The Field Eyes

And what is the potential man, after all? Is he not the sum of all that is human? Divine, in other words?

Quotes about Hieronymus Bosch

Bosch is a complete visionary... His oeuvre, having emerged out of oblivion, calls into question the very foundations of the art of painting.

Andre Breton, 1957

Of what did Bosch dream? Of Christ's Passion,
Of the wickedness and stupidity of the soldiers,
Of the vanity and transience of this earthly life,
Of Hell with its instruments of torture,
Of the temptation against which the holy men are capable of putting up little resistance.

Max Jacob Friedlander, 1941

In the portrayal of strange apparitions and hideous and terrifying dreams and worlds, the Fleming Hieronymus Bosch was unique and truly divine.

Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo, 1584

Foe God often gives the ability to learn and the wit to make something good to [an artist] who has no equal in his day, and whose like has not been seen for many a year previously, nor shall soon come again.

Albrecht Durer, 1528

He knew that he had a great talent for painting and that people would have considered him... a painter who ranked behind Durer, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and others, and so he embarked upon a new road, one on which he left the others behind...

Jose de Siguenza, 1605

Bosch is one of the very few painters who - he was indeed more than a painter! - who acquired a magic vision. He saw through the phenomenal world, rendered it transparent, and thus revealed its pristine aspect.

Henry Miller, 1957

Eccentric and secret genius that he was, Bosch not only moved the heart, but scandalized it into full awareness. The sinister and monstrous things that he brought forth are the hidden creatures of our inward self-love: he externalizes the ugliness within, and so his misshapen demons have an effect beyond curiosity. We feel a hateful kinship with them. The Ship of Fools is not about other people. It is about us.

Wendy Beckett, The Story of Painting

Whereas painters of the early and middle 1400s enriched their own (and their countrymen's) understanding of the Gospel by recreating it in reality, their successors used this technique to study (and broaden) their entire world view. Hieronymus Bosch mastered a whole genre by merging the realism of Flemish painting with fantastic allegories of the human condition. His pictures of vermin and birds in men's clothing, atrocities, and weirdly juxtaposed objects use the realism of the earlier masters as a means of stark caricature. It was in this form, the most extreme possible, that character and moral differentiation were introduced into the realm of realistic depiction.

Roy Wagner, The Invention of Culture

For the first and perhaps for the only time, an artist had succeeded in giving concrete and tangible shape to the fears that had haunted the minds of man in the Middle Ages. It was an achievement that was perhaps only possible at this very moment of time when the old ideas were still vigorous while the modern spirit has provided the artist with methods to represent what he saw.

Ernst H. Gombrich, 1950