BOSCH: Visons Alive. Moscow

ARTPLAY Design Center, Moscow

March 19 – September 1, 2016

AVIAPARK shopping mall, Moscow

Opened June 22, 2016

ARTPLAY MEDIA presents multimedia exhibition ‘BOSCH: Visions Alive’ as part of the Hieronymus Bosch 500 year 2016

Year of Bosch in Europe

In 2016, Europe marks 500 years since the death of one of the West's most mysterious painters, Hieronymus Bosch, who perished in August, 1516. To commemorate the Northern Renaissance master, his hometown of 's-Hertogenbosch, as well as Madrid, Venice and other European cities have staged exhibitions featuring works by Bosch and those by present-day artists who have drawn inspiration from the old master’s mystic symbolism and unsolved riddles.

Year of Bosch in Russia

The multimedia exhibition ‘BOSCH: Visions Alive’, that opened at the ARTPLAY Design Center on March 18, is one of the centerpiece events dedicated to Bosch in Russia, in 2016.

‘Professor of Nightmares’

“Wondrous and strange fantasies... often less pleasant than gruesome to look at,” wrote Bosch’s fellow Dutchman and contemporary Karel van Mander about the artist’s work in his Book of Painters. Adjectives most commonly used to describe Bosch’s masterpieces include strange, mysterious and fearful. The symbols he used in his work embodied all the superstitions and dreads that tormented people during the Middle Ages. It is not a coincidence that Bosch’s ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights,’ a triptych depicting humanity entangled in its own sins and capturing the spirit of the epoch, became the quintessence of the medieval times.


Around 20 paintings are attributed to Bosch even though only seven of them actually bear his signature. None of the paintings were titled by the master during his lifetime; all the titles were given to his work by art historians later on. Little is known about his personal life and career but for a handful of facts – he was a third-generation artist, he married into a wealthy family, he had no children, and he was a member of the Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady, an influential religious group in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. So who is Hieronymus Bosch? Some say he is a surrealist artist, ‘an honorary professor of nightmares’. Some insist that his paintings contain encrypted secret formulas used by alchemists, astrologers and sorcerers at the time. And some believe he was a heretic, a follower of some banned sects, even though he is known to have been an extremely religious person.

Exhibition at ARTPLAY Design Center

The opening hall of the exhibition ‘BOSCH: Visions Alive’ introduces the show with all available information about Bosch’s life and career, including least plausible theories. While the multimedia hall features a visual feast of nightmarish but still magnetic images from Bosch’s masterpieces. Slippery reptiles, pot-bellied monsters, fish with human legs, barrel-bodied figures, and spidery creatures – this phantasmagoric world of Bosch’s never ceases to amaze. Art historian Lev Lyubimov once noted that in Bosch’s paintings “one hideous thing is combined with another and, in this hideous combination, suddenly becomes eerily captivating. This hideosity, this spawn of foul-smelling swamps, of dark, rotting depths looks simply entertaining, all but cozy – so sincere is the inner joy in the painter’s work, and so masterly are his paintings!”

Exhibition organizer

ARTPLAY MEDIA produces and stages cutting-edge multimedia shows, using such technologies as multichannel graphic animation, dozens of state-of-the-art HD video projectors, giant screens and surround sound. The company has produced hit shows ‘Great Modernists: Revolution in Art’ and ‘Michelangelo: The Creation.’

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