The Royal Dutch Mint has unveiled (August 23) their latest gold and silver collector coins featuring the surrealist artwork of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450 – 1516), one of the world’s most distinctive painters. Described by some as “the devil’s painter” and by others as a visionary, this mysterious figure has been beloved for centuries by artists and generations of avant-garde students.
Born Jheronimus van Aken around 1450 near Hertogenbosch, a city in the Duchy of Brabant, his family was originally from Aachen, now in present-day Germany. Little is known about Bosch’s early life, though he hailed from a family of painters, with his father, uncle, and brothers following the same pursuit.
In adulthood, he incorporated the name of a town known for wool-production into his own name, changing it from Jeroen van Aken to the grander-sounding Jheronimus Bosch. This shrewd move seemed to work in his favor and his clients became more numerous and illustrious, with princes of church and state, and the Count of Nassau among them. It was over the Count’s king-sized bed in his Brussels palace that Bosch’s teeming vision of heaven and hell entitled “The Garden of Earthly Delights” was fixed. It is thought that King Philip II of Spain also acquired many of Bosch’s paintings, possibly commissioned and collected by Spaniards active in Bosch’s hometown.
“The Garden of Earthly Delights,” painted between 1495 and 1505, is a triptych, or three-paneled painting, and is one of Bosch’s most notable works. The outer panels are intended to bracket the main central panel, which is described as a broad panorama of socially engaged nude figures, fantastical animals, over-sized fruit, and hybrid stone formation. This is flanked by a depiction of the Garden of Eden on the left panel and the Last Judgment on the right. Art historians have catalogued that Bosch painted at least sixteen triptychs, of which eight are fully intact, with another five in fragments.
Though Bosch did not date his paintings, he seems to have signed several of them. However, some signatures purporting to be his are not. It is believed that about 25 paintings remain today that can be attributed to him.
Ultimately, Bosch, the Dutchman from the Duchy of Brabant, didn’t seem to spare the sensitivities of his audience and went on to paint what no one had painted before him. Did he perceive himself as a visionary? Perhaps so, but what is not in question is that he had his own dark humor. He painted images and motifs that seem comedic in their sheer absurdity; as a result, his work certainly had the effect of making his audience squirm as it considered its future and questioned its purpose.
The coin, designed by artist Danielle van Vree, includes elements of some of his more well-known paintings on the reverse. Several details from the works “Last Judgment,” “Garden Of Earthly Delights,” “Magician,” and “Daddy Longlegs” are combined to offer a collage of Bosch’s works.
Cleverly incorporated into the reverse design is the central depiction of an eye, placed to correspond to the eye on the obverse portrait of King Willem Alexander. The commemorative year, 1516, is also included in the text along the edge of the principle design.
The obverse of the coin includes a front-facing portrait of the King, which is based on a photograph of Willem Alexander resting his head against his right hand. The portrait is shown in mirrored detail; the obverse also includes the year of issue, 2016.
|5 €URO||Silver-plate||10.5 Grams||29 mm.||BU||12,500 pieces|
|5 €URO||.925 Silver||15.5 Grams||33 mm.||Proof||10,000 pieces|
|5 €URO X 4||.925 Silver||15.5 Grams||33 mm.||Proof & Colour||500 sets|
|10 €URO||.900 gold||6.72 Grams||22.5 mm.||Proof||1250 pieces|
The gold and silver coins will be officially issued after the first strike ceremony at the Royal Dutch Mint in Utrecht, which will occur on September 16, 2016, and include the privy mark of the temporary Mintmaster. A special version of this coin will also include a set of four silver Proof pieces, with color applied to the design highlighting each element of the four paintings on the reverse. The silver-plated version is presented in a coin-card, and the Proof silver coin is packaged in a colorful sealed folder. The gold coin is housed in a custom polished wood case.
For more information on these and other coins offered by the Royal Dutch Mint, please visit their Web site. Orders will be dispatched only to European destinations.