“The difference between this painter’s works and those of others: they seek to
paint men as they appear on the outside, whereas he endeavours to paint the inner
man, as he is on the inside.”
1453: Birth of Hieronymus Van Aken in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (now Bois-le-Duc). His family,
of modest origin, most likely originated from Aken (the last name Van Aken literally
means “from Aken”), having lived there for more than two generations. There are
documents that prove the presence in ‘s-Hertogenbosch of Bosch’s ancestors as early
as the end of the 14th century. His father Anthonius Van Aken and his grandfather Jan
were painters. We know that Bosch was born into a family of painters and artists, but
we know nothing of his training or formal education. We can surmise that he was
educated and trained by his family. The nickname Bosch obviously stems from an
abbreviation of the painter’s place of origin, ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
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