Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch

Ref: C2224411

Bosch's surviving paintings have been interpreted as biblical illustration, as moral homily, as surrealist visions before their time, as the products of secret religious cultism, as explorations of human savagery and triumphs of empathy, as symptoms of the last gasp of the medieval world order and as the trumpet call of the renaissance in northern Europe. As the above implies, they are some of the most fascinating and enigmatic works ever painted. Our aim shall be to make as much sense of them as we can.

Course aim

To understand the work of Hieronymus Bosch: to explore its appeal today and to place it in its cultural context

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course should appeal to those who are interested in the past, and the way it has been shaped by art and culture.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • interpret and understand paintings with increasing fluency, using a variety of methods for analysis
  • Provide an account of how this group of paintings came into existence, and how they may have helped to shape the world into which they came
  • Provide an account of the relevance and meaning of these works for people today

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • you may be invited to explore paintings and texts about paintings in your own time

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Images of Bosch's work can be found both electronically, via the internet, and through printed media available at libraries and bookshops.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • This course should help your ability to interpret and find pleasure in exploring challenging paintings on your own

Download full Course information sheet

Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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