The Unknown Hieronymus Bosch
Publication Date: September 16, 2008
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The paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450–1516) have captivated and confounded observers for centuries, leading to wildly varying conclusions on the artist’s spirituality. Kurt Falk presents the first analysis of Bosch’s inner life in light of a hitherto unknown—and now lost—version of one of his seminal works, The Last Judgment, found by the author in Cairo in the mid-1930s.
With an introduction by spiritual psychologist Robert Sardello, The Unknown Hieronymus Bosch presents an entirely new way of looking at this art—not through the framework of art history or the notion of a school of painting, but through the spirit. Falk’s analysis reveals the ways in which Bosch addresses creation, including the exalted and fallen spiritual worlds so prevalent in his work. The author’s conclusions are startling but persuasive: that Bosch had strong links to Rosicrucianism, that many of the paintings feature a curious onlooker figure we now understand as a spirit-witness, and that Bosch had in fact developed the capacity to clairvoyantly know the extraordinary worlds he portrays in such exacting detail. The book’s high-quality reproductions, carefully rendered in the paintings’ true colors, offer powerful visual support for the author’s theories.
Kurt Falk co-founded the Tobias School of Art in Forest Row, England, with his wife, Anne Stockton. He was a teacher of art history. Prior to that, he had been a biodynamic farmer in Germany and then in Egypt. While he was in Cairo, he discovered the mysterious Bosch painting that forms the center of his book. He continually researched the deeper background of the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch until his death in 1986.
“A convenient chronology of forty-three paintings from Bosch’s oeuvre.… Falk analyzes the iconography in such detail, calling our attention to objects and creatures easily overlooked in smaller reproductions.… [The Unknown Hieronymus Bosch] transforms the quality of our attention, if not the content of our opinions."
—Jerry Cullum, editor at large of Art Papers