's-Hertogenbosch was (and is) Jheronimus Bosch's city. During Jheronimus' lifetime it was the seventh largest city in the Netherlands with well over 14,000 inhabitants in the mid-15th century and some 16,000 around 1515. 's-Hertogenbosch was regularly visited by lords, ladies and their servants; trade and the arts flourished as a result.
Discover Jheronimus Bosch in 's-Hertogenbosch
The city's most famous son has definitely not been forgotten. You can already get to know Jheronimus Bosch at various locations in 's-Hertogenbosch.
The Duchy of Brabant
's-Hertogenbosch was, alongside Louvain, Brussels and Antwerp, one of the four capitals of the Duchy of Brabant. Textiles (linen) were the principal trade, but the city was also known for its organ builders, bell foundries, printers, needle and knife makers. Thanks to the Dieze's connection to the Meuse, Waal and Rhine, trade could also be conducted with faraway places; Cologne and later Antwerp became the main trading partners. There were even extensive trade links with Italy and Northern Europe; 's-Hertogenbosch had its own trading post on the Danish island of Schonen. In the Middle Ages, 's-Hertogenbosch was mainly also a religious centre. Around 1500, 'Cleijn Rome' [Little Rome] was home to 15 monastic orders, 40 churches and chapels, 25 hospices and many asylums and almshouses for the poor and crippled. The clergy were important patrons for artists in the city. After all, the many buildings had to be furnished and decorated; Jheronimus was undoubtedly able to benefit from this.
Saint John's Cathedral
Festive, devotional pageants were held in honour of Mother Mary. The Illustre Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady of which Jheronimus was also a member played an important role in these 'ommegangen'. During the years that Jheronimus created his world famous paintings in the house on the market square, another spectacular work of art was under construction a stone's throw away: Saint John's Cathedral. Jheronimus was involved in its construction and decoration alongside various other artists and composers. Jheronimus' paintings and drawings contain his birth soil's DNA and can be viewed as portraits of 's-Hertogenbosch's characteristic city centre that has changed little over the past five centuries. Many streets still run as they did in the Middle Ages, many of the buildings are also still in existence, Jheronimus would have no trouble finding his way around. 's-Hertogenbosch is timeless. As are Jheronimus' paintings.