Bos, Jerome

, an artist of singular taste, was born at Bois-le-Duc. He seemed to have a peculiar pleasure in painting spectres, devils, and enchantments: and although he possessed considerable powers as a painter, both in freedom of touch and strength of colouring, his pictures rather excite a horror mixed with admiration than any degree of real delight. Among the singular objects which he chose, there is one which represents the Saviour delivering the Patriarchs from hell. The fire and flames are painted with great truth. Judas in the attempt of slyly escaping with the Saints, is seized in the neck by the devils, who are going to hang him up in the air. A most remarkable painting of this master’s hand, among several others in the Escurial, is an allegory of the pleasures of the flesh: in which he represents the principal figure in a carriage drawn by monstrous imaginary forms, preceded by demons, and roll owed by death. As to his manner, it was less still than tnat of most of the painters of his time; and his draperies were in a better taste, more simple, and with less sameness, than any of his contemporaries. He painted on a white ground, which he so managed as to give a degree of transparence to his colours, and the appearance of more warmth. He laid on his colours lightly, and so placed them, even at the first touch of his pencil, as to give them their proper effect, without disturbing them: and his touch was full of spirit. Bos was also an engraver, and, as Strutt thinks, the first artist who attempted to engrave in the grotesque style. His engravings have that stiffness which so strongly characterises the works of the early German masters, and prove that he possessed a great fertility of invention, though perhaps but little judgment. He died in 1500. 2


Pilkington and —Strutt.