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Trip Report Jheronimus Bosch trip report

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I decided to start a new topic rather than add to my post with the Guardian review of the exhibition.
We drove down to Den Bosch this morning, and had and easy run with no traffic. We parked in the Wolvenhoek car park, around the corner from the museum. It was quite full but we found a spot. We allowed plenty of time for finding a parking space.

We had timed entry tickets for 12-13.00 and arrived at the museum at about 11.50. Our tickets were scanned at security post in the courtyard (not much security really, but you couldn't go any further without showing a ticket). Inside you could leave coats and big bags, visit the restaurant or coffee stop, and collect your pre-booked audio tour. For some reason DH had only booked one, and we couldn't buy an extra one. I gave up trying to share it with him, but I think you get a lot more insight into the paintings with it than with just the small, free booklet you can also pick up on the way in. There is also an introductory film you can watch before entering the exhibition. You can do all of that regardless of your timed entry, but cannot go in to the exhibition until you are within your time slot.

There was a short queue waiting for the 12.00 slot to open, and it opened on time. One downside to getting there at the start of the slot, rather than joining it maybe half an hour later is that everyone makes a bee line for the Haywain, making it hard to appreciate it. We continued with the exhibition and went back to it after a while. It was still popular of course but it was then at least possible to see it.

The exhibition is split into sections - The Pilgrimage of Life, which includes the Haywain, Bosch in 's Hertogenbosch, which has various documents and artefacts relating to his life, as well as paintings by contemporaries, and himself.
The Life of Christ is the next section, including Ecce Homo, and the copy of Earthly Delights.
My favourite section was Bosch as Draughtsman, with 19 sheets of his drawings, one never seen before in public. Astounding pen and ink drawings.
Saints includes the newly attributed Kansas St Anthony, and many freshly restored Venice saints.
The End Times is the most disturbing section, with his Visions of the Hereafter.

There are a few video panels which show paintings in more detail, or compare Bosch and his pupil's paintings in each section too.

The Prado has hung on to the Garden of Earthly delights, and also to their version of the Temptation of St. Anthony. Although the latter is listed in the book there is just a notice on the wall saying withdrawn. No doubt they will be included in the exhibition when it moves to Madrid. Would they have added to this exhibition? Undoubtedly, but there is enough to see and enjoy without them.

It is a small museum, and while we were there at least apart from the initial scrum by the Haywain it never felt crowded, you could get close to the paintings, enjoy them, examine them at ease, move on, come back to ones you enjoy.

We were in there for just over 90 minutes, which is what the museum suggests a visit will take. Absolutely worth the money and the time.

There is a small Bosch shop, and the normal museum shop too and there is a catalogue for sale for €24.95.
We had lunch in the museum restaurant, which was pleasant enough. We resisted having a Bossche Bol, though it was hard to do so. We had planned on having a walk around the city, but DH got a phone call from work, some sort of emergency, so we had to head home so he could go online and help them out.

So that was it. A quick trip to Den Bosch and a step back 500 years into the world, and mind of Jeroen Bosch.

I hope those of you going enjoy it as much as we did.

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