Picturing the Netherlandish Canon, The Courtauld Institute of Art

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15. Hieronymus Bosch

Engraving, second state.
Signed 'Hh ex.' by Hendrick Hondius
Copy in reverse direction as Cock 1572 engraved Pictorum
19.8 x 12.0 cm

Transcription of Inscription [Lampsonius]:

Quid sibi vult, Hironyme Boschi,                   
Ille oculus tuus attonitus? quid                       
Pallor in ore?  velut lemures si
Spectra Erebi volitantia coram
Aspiceres?  Tibi Ditis avari
Crediderim patuisse recessus
Tartareasque domos tua quando
Quicquid habet sinus imus Averni
Tam potuit bene pingere dextra.

Translation of Inscription [Lampsonius]:

To Hieronymus Bosch, painter.
What is meant by that astonished eye of yours, Hieronymus Bosch, or that pallor in your face?  As if you had seen ghosts, the spectres of Erebus, flittering in front of you.  I could believe that the caves of greedy Pluto and the houses of Tartarus lay open to you, seeing as your hand could paint so well whatever the lowest hollows of Avernus1 contain.

Hollstein 1994 no. 85

Karel Van Mander's biography of Hieronymus Bosch.
Grove Art Online biography.

1.      The entry to the underworld in Virgil’s Aeneid.