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The Unknown Hieronymus Bosch Paperback – September 16, 2008
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“A convenient chronology of forty-three paintings from Bosch’s oeuvre.… Falk analyzes the iconography in such detail, calling our attention to objects and creatures easily overlooked in smaller reproductions.… [The Unknown Hieronymus Bosch] transforms the quality of our attention, if not the content of our opinions."
—Jerry Cullum, editor at large of Art Papers
About the Author
Kurt Falk cofounded the Tobias School of Art in Forest Row, England, with his wife Anne Stockton. He was a teacher of art history. Prior to that, he had been a biodynamic farmer in Germany and, later, in Egypt. While in Cairo, he discovered the mysterious Bosch painting that forms the center of The Unknown Hieronymous Bosch. He researched extensively the paintings of Bosch until his death in 1986.
Robert Sardello, PhD, is cofounder (with Cheryl Sanders-Sardello, PhD, in 1992) of the School of Spiritual Psychology. At the University of Dallas, he served as chair of the Department of Psychology, head of the Institute of Philosophic Studies, and graduate dean. He is also cofounder and a faculty member of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, as well as author of more than 200 articles in scholarly journals and cultural publications, and is a former faculty member of the Chalice of Repose Project in Missoula, Montana. Having developed spiritual psychology based in archetypal psychology, phenomenology, and the spiritual science of Rudolf Steiner from more than thirty-five years of research in this discipline, as well as holding positions in two universities, Dr. Sardello is now an independent teacher and scholar, teaching all over the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., as well as the Czech Republic, the Philippines, and Australia. He is a consultant to many educational and cultural institutions and a dissertation adviser at numerous academic institutions. He is author of several books, including Facing the World with Soul; Love and the World; Freeing the Soul from Fear; The Power of Soul: Living the Twelve Virtues. and Silence.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the kind of book to come back to repeatedly, progressing chronologically or opening at random, to sink into the timeless spirit/dream realm that Bosch clearly was intimate with. One doesn't need any particular spiritual tradition/affiliation/training to appreciate and benefit from this. And I'm not sure how to describe this benefit... subtle and intuitive; the awakening of our own wonder and knowing.
Many pages of high quality photos (you may want a magnifying glass!), with wonderful images (both realistic and fantastic figures) are included here. But even more interesting are the pages of Kurt's explanation and interpretation that accompany them.
Highly recommended for artists, art historians, and students of the esoteric.
A very slanted view by a believer in Rudolf Steiner. Falk misteaks a bad painting in the style of Bosch, for the real thing, and proceeds to convince himself of a lot of nonsense.
The reproductions are good.
For a balanced text some possibilities are: Larry Silver ISBN-10: 0789209012 (expensive but beautiful) or Walter Gibson ISBN-10: 0195199456 and ISBN-10: 050020134X.
For a viable imaginative theory go with Hans Belting ISBN-10: 3791333208 , which is focused on the Garden of earthly Delights, and has photos taken after the restoration and cleaning.
For more indepth info. and reviews Adam McLean's website is also useful.
I sat in bed one night hoping to soak in a little art history before bed, to study some Bosch paintings in that wind-down time before sleep. I don't really know what this author was trying to achieve. Basically, I didn't finish the text. I think this author is trying to sell a type of spirituality and way of viewing the world and he uses the other-worldly art of Bosch to describe the type of transcendence he is trying to describe. It seemed to me that the author is convinced that Bosch in the 15th and 16th century shared the same worldview that the author has today. The text, as art history and as descriptions of Bosch's paintings, is useless. The author speaks about Bosch's work as if he is CERTAIN, 100% sure that this is exactly what Bosch was thinking and tried to portray in his paintings. As anyone who has taken a class on art history or history at all, you should be very careful not to absolutely assert that you know what someone was thinking unless you have some kind of source to back it up. Falk tossed in some Rosicrucian references to make the whole thing sound a little more plausible and interesting ("Whoa! Rosicrucians! Isn't that like the Freemasons? It makes sense that the new world elite would want to hide evidence and proof of what they were "really" all about. If Bosch was into this stuff, it makes so much sense that he wouldn't write his true feelings down somewhere. Falk makes perfect sense!") but I kind of rolled my eyes. I didn't see any primary sources backing up the author's guesses passed off as fact.
After a few pages of getting into exceptionally abstract discussions of the author's specific brand of spirituality, I got angry and decided the text was not at all worth my time. I turned to the pages to see the artwork, but actually made a point not to get sucked into whatever, I apologize, hokey stuff the author placed underneath or beside each picture.
After a few nights I tossed the book onto the pile of finished books beside my night table. I haven't picked it up since, and every time I see it on the side of my nightstand, I just get mad that I could have paid a few more dollars and actually gotten a book on Hieronymus Bosch and his artwork. To be honest, I don't even know what exactly this book was. It seems to me that it was a book from the "New Age/Spirituality" section of Barnes&Noble, the section where they stock books about talking to ghosts and reading tarot cards, but the author threw in some Bosch paintings to make the casual reader who catches a glimpse of the cover and thinks "Oh, hey, a book on Bosch! I like his work, I'll read this!" pick it up and buy it.
Beware if you are looking for art history or a biography of the artist or even semi-scholarly study of his paintings. This book is not for you. Try any of the other Bosch books on amazon. I'm sorry for getting on my soapbox and ranting, but I was exceptionally disappointed in this book. Usually I'd give my old books to a family member to read or even sell it to the local Half Price Books for a few bucks, but I don't want to be a part of someone else thinking they found a cool, reasonably priced art book only to be sorely disappointed.
Hieronymus Bosch was even more startling than Dali, you see, and he was accessing other worlds.. I've always wondered about the mans art and Rudolf Steiner was ahead of his time. Today, quantum physicists see it as obvious that there are other worlds. Well Bosch probably accessed those worlds and we are lucky that he did and what luck that Steiner takes this seriously and comments upon the mystery.! This book supplies his ideas and all of Bosch's pictures are reproduced in high quality paper. So this is a must for his fans and fans of other worlds.