It’s not often that news happens in the world of renaissance artwork, so today is a special day. A piece of work at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri has been identified as an original Hieronymus Bosch painting, of which there are currently only a few dozen known in the world.
The painting, “The Temptation of St. Anthony,” which has been dated ca. 1500, is still undergoing the official process of certification undertaken by the Bosch Research and Conservation Project, an organization created for exactly this type of work.
The new attribution to Bosch — or, it must be said, to one of his followers — is based on comparisons of underdrawings, a comparison of details, and an analysis of Bosch’s brushwork, all of which is cross-checked against undisputed Bosch paintings.
If this painting is, indeed, confirmed to be a Bosch original, it will be one of only five works from Bosch in the United States. It will take years for that confirmation to happen, though, as it must be validated by more than just a few more industry experts. Still, it will be shown in Bosch’s hometown of ‘s-Hertogenbosch at Noordbrabants Museum, beginning February 23, certified or not.
“The Temptation of St. Anthony”