Private Lectures and museum visits on Jheronimus Bosch, 2016

by art specialist Drs Kees Kaldenbach


Begin to understand what Bosch's thinking was all about. The author has seen most of Bosch'work throughout the world and has seen the show on day 2 of the 2016 exhibition on day two. Call to make an appointment.




Jeroen / Jerome / Jheronimus 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 obsessive about the Seven deadly Sins = Cardinal Sins = Capital vices.

By showing two extremes, Sins and by implying Virtues, he exhorted people to take a reasonable middle position.

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


SINS                                      The Correct Middle               VIRTUES

Superbia, Pride                                x                                 Humilitas, Humility, modesty
Hoogmoed                                      x                                 Altruism, Nederigheid
Uebermut, Eitelkeit                           x                                 Demut

Avaritia, Greed                                x                                 Caritas, Generosity,sacrifice,
Hebzucht, Geiz, Habgier                   x                                
Lucrum Turpe

Luxuria, Lust                                  x                                 Chastity, Purity
Wellust, Bandeloosheid                     x                                 Keuschheit Freizuegigkeit

Invidia, Envy                                  x                                 Benevolentia, Kindness,
Afgunst, Neid                                 x                                

Gula, Gluttony                                x                                 Temperantia, temperance
Gulzigheid, Voellerei                         x                                 Moderation, Gematigdheid
                                                                                             Deferred gratification
Ira, Wrath                                     x                                  Patience, Mercy,
Boosheid, Woede,                            x                                 resolving conflicts,  Geduld,

Acedia, Sloth, Idleness, Lazyness     x                                 Industria, Diligence   
Luiheid, Faulheit                               x                                 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
Road to Hell looks easy, enticing                            Road to heaven looks hard
                                                                      Ideal world ordered according to
Hellish Under Creatures without names                    Measure + Number + Weight, creatures with proper names


Giving in to most impulses                                     Controlling all impulses
Bodily desires                                                     Spiritual powers



Underworld carries a wafer thin crust, which is our earth crust. On top the upper world are some pink Fountains of life, with an enticing black hole with an owl inviting you in to it. Then you will drop down into hell.


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

7 steps to become a priest:
1. Ostiarius 2. Lector  3.Acolite 4. Exorcist  (= lower grades, of which Swan Brethren were member)
1. Subdiacon  2. Diacon 3. Priest.

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 Falkanburg: The Land of Unlikeness. H. Bosch Garden of Earthly Delights., Zwolle 2011.





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Vermeer tours Chinese version.

German language as well: Man spricht auch Deutsch

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Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (without Bosch!)

Boijmans, Rotterdam does have Bosch.

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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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. Travel time 1 hour in good road traffic. Delft walking tour about 1 to 2 hours.

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


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.

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 5 february, 2015

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