Private Lectures on Jheronimus Bosch, 2016

by art specialist Drs Kees Kaldenbach


The Dutch Bosch exhibition of 2016 was a fabulous one. You may still see ALL Bosch works photographically reproduced in TRUE size in Den Bosch in a good presentation. The entrance to this exhibition costs only E 7 per person.

Begin to understand what Bosch's thinking was all about. Order a private lecture.

The author has seen most of Bosch'work throughout the world - and has visited the museum show twice during the 2016 exhibition in Den Bosch.

If you wish me to be your private tutor, I am available.



Above: Details from the Garden of Earthy Delights, Prado, Madrid.



Some notes to be discussed during my lecture:

Jeroen / Jerome / Jheronimus / Hieronimus Bosch was part of a family full of artisans / artists. Grandfather, father, brothers and sons were active in painting. His own artistic genius is mainly apparent in the under-drawing, seen with technology.


Jheronimus Bosch was highly visual, inventive but also obsessive about the Seven deadly Sins = Cardinal Sins = Capital vices.

By showing the extremes of Sin and by implying the Virtues, he exhorted people to choose wisely and take a reasonable middle position.

In the list below the terms are given in English, German, Dutch.



Superbia, Pride, Hoogmoed, Uebermut, Eitelkeit

Choosing a Correct Middle Ground



Humilitas, Humility, modesty, Altruism, Nederigheid, Demut

Avaritia, Greed, Hebzucht, Geiz, Habgier, Lucrum Turpe Middle Ground Caritas, Generosity,sacrifice,
Luxuria, Lust, Wellust, Bandeloosheid Middle Ground Chastity, Purity, Keuschheit. Freizuegigkeit
Invidia, Envy.Afgunst, Neid Middle Ground Benevolentia, Kindness,
Gula, Gluttony, Gulzigheid, Voellerei Middle Ground Temperantia, temperance, Moderation, Gematigdheid
Ira, Wrath, Boosheid, Woede, Middle Ground Patience, Mercy, Deferred gratification, resolving conflicts, Geduld,
Acedia, Sloth, Idleness, Lazyness, Luiheid, Faulheit Middle Ground Industria, Diligence, Vlijt, Industrie


Given the above struggle, there is a heavenly battle gong on, a Psychomachia between Evil and Good, Evil tends to win.

These are the conflicting entities:

Hell is a result of bad choices   Heaven as seen in Princes Mirror books
Forces of Evil attack Gods Creation   Gouvernement de soi-même as virtue in nobility
Road to Hell looks easy, enticing   Road to heaven looks hard
Hellish Under Creatures without proper names    Ideal world ordered according to Measure + Number + Weight, creatures with proper names
Giving in to most impulses. Bodily desires   Controlling all impulses. Spiritual powers




The Evil Underworld carries a wafer thin crust, which is our earth. On the surface o fthe visible upper world are some exciting alluring pink Fountains of life, with an interesting enticing black hole, with an owl inviting you in. There you will drop down into hell.


Bosch uses critical senses, flipping ideas around, revealing and concealing forms by showing weird impossible forms, allowing fantasy.


He was member of the Swan Brethren. These had the lower level training as a priest. The Seven steps to become a priest in the Roman Catholic Church are these:
1. Ostiarius 2. Lector  3.Acolite 4. Exorcist  (= lower grades, of which Swan Brethren were member)
1. Subdiacon  2. Diacon 3. Priest. (= upper grades)

Cardinal virtues = Prudentia, Iustitia, Fortitudo, Temperantia, Fides, Spes, Caritas. (compare wit the above list)

Bosch bridges two worlds:

1. Monastic theology and

2. Lay movements such as Modern Devotion, Geert Grote, Ruusbroec. Bosch became member of the Swan Brethren group in Den Bosch.

In high Burgundian circles, literary debates went on among nobles. Disputations with speculative arguments. Learned people showed off their knowledge, using citations, argumants, exemples. They tried to outwit their fellow courtiers. Bosch' works can be seen as functioning in that circle of nobility.

Literature: Reindert Falkenburg: The Land of Unlikeness. H. Bosch Garden of Earthly Delights., Zwolle 2011.


Below: Photographs from a visit in 2013 to the Tempation of St Anthony in Lisbon, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. (Tentações de Santo Antão) c. 1500. It is absolutely worth the flight to Lisbon! Will be exhibited in Madrid in 2016.






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German language as well: Man spricht auch Deutsch

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Boijmans, Rotterdam does have Bosch paintings.

Going to Madrid and Lisbon together would be best! I will be your private professore.


Or Vermeer instad? Would you like to enter the Rijksmuseum at exactly 9 AM, bypassing all waiting lines and standing in a virtually empty museum ? Ask me to be your guide! Below some images from Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum, April 2013


Photos above, 2013 by Yuichi Nara.

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Photo by Dick Martin.

It is a rare and unique privilege that the Rijksmuseum has linked from the main Rijksmuseum site to my site. Start at and select Collection, after which you choose Digital Collaboration and the Digital Vermeer House.



Total time of this Vermeer tour: about 2 1/2 hours

Lecture at my home:1 hour.

Transport to the Amsterdam museum: 1/2 hour

Museum: about 1 hour ; I can bypass the waiting on line.


This lecture is available on times which we mutually agree, 7 days a week. Pre-bookings are required.

Minimum: 3 persons. Smaller groups are negotiable. Also for business contacts, VIPs and visiting dignitaries.

Maximum: Groups will be limited to 6 persons.

Tours about architecture may take place in larger groups, up to about 20.


Optional programmes.

An additional option (perhaps on another day) is a visit to the Royal Collection The Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, which houses several other renowned Vermeer paintings, including his famous 'Girl with the Pearl Earring' and 'View of Delft'.

About Art Historian Drs. Kees Kaldenbach.

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach has been featured in television and radio documentaries, including BBC2 TV, NTV Japan, Danish TV DKR and the Radio Netherlands World service. In July 2004 he was interviewed about Delft artists by Tetsuya Tsuruhara for the leading Japanese newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun. In 2004 and 2005 he acted in an advisory role to additional BBC teams. Kaldenbach has written extensively on Vermeer and 17th century Delft.

Further information is available on his web site:


See the TV programme on Dutch national TV on Kees Kaldenbach as masseur and art historian.

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours".*

*Martha Gellhorn, Travels with Myself and another, page 182.



Map of Haarlemmermeerstraat, Amsterdam. Please note this tricky situation: there is another street in town that sounds almost the same: Haarlemmerstraat. You need to go to my street, Haarlemmermeerstraat. Take tram 2 to Hoofddorpplein square or tram 1 to Suriname plein square.

Contact information:

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach

Haarlemmermeerstraat 83 hs

1058 JS Amsterdam

The Netherlands

telephone 020 - 669 8119 (from abroad NL +20 - 669 8119)

cell phone 06 - 2868 9775 (from abroad NL +6 - 2868 9775)


How to get there:

- by car: ring road exit S 106 towards the centre, then 1st to the right (paid parking)

- by trams 1 and 17; exit at Surinameplein

- by tram 2; exit Hoofddorpplein.

From the museum square it takes a 10-minute tram ride.

From Museum square by foot through the Vondelpark it is a 20-30 min walk.



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Updated June 9, 2016.


In an added third leg of the Vermeer tour to The Hague you may also seek my company when we walk in the historic city of Delft where I could show you the fabric of seventeenth century life and art - see Delft Artists and Patrons in the yellow menu.

Research presented in November 2014 about Mannheimer: he almost bought the best Vermeer: The Art of Painting (now in Vienna)


I perform art walks for the Netherlands Bureau of Tourism, London Office and New York City office. The clients they serve are often top ranking journalists.

The magazine has devoted a main feature to my tours and walks.



Reaction, questions? Drs. Kees Kaldenbach, art historian and Vermeer specialist, Haarlemmermeerstraat 83hs, 1058 JS Amsterdam (near Surinameplein, ring road exit s106, streetcar tram 1 and 17).

Telephone 020 669 8119; cell phone 06 - 2868 9775.

Open seven days a week.

Member of VVV Amsterdam Tourist info and the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce.

E mail esponses to art historian Drs. Kees Kaldenbach.

This page forms part of the 2000+ item Vermeer web site at

Launched April 15, 2004. Updated 27 October 2016.

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