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(b ?'s-Hertogenbosch, c.1450; bur. 's-Hertogenbosch, 9 Aug. 1516). Netherlandish painter, active for all his known career in 's-Hertogenbosch, where he is first documented in 1474. His real name was Jerome van Aken (perhaps indicating family origins in Aachen, Germany), but on the few pictures that he signed he used the name by which he has become famous: ‘Hieronymus’ (or ‘Jheronimus’ as he spelt it) is the Latin form of Jerome, and ‘Bosch’ is a shortened version of the name of his town. Although it was fairly remote from the major art centres of the Netherlands, it was one of the most prosperous towns in the Duchy of Brabant, with a vigorous cultural and intellectual life. Bosch, who came from a long line of artists, was the leading painter of the day there, although he was married to a wealthy woman and probably had no need to paint for a living.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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