What is the meaning of your frightened
face, of your pale features? It looks as if you imagined all the spirits from Hell were flying round your ears.
I could think you had listened to the roaring depths of Pluto's domain;
I could imagine all the gates of Hell had been opened to you. . . .
Lampsonius, a Flemish poet, was writing about a self-portrait by history's first surrealist painter, Hieronymus Bosch. This week the first book in English on the hobgoblined 15th Century master attempted a 20th Century character-reading of Bosch's frightened face and his frightening paintings.
Howard Daniel's Hieronymus Bosch (Duell,...