On Tuesday, 24 January at 15:00 in the University of Glasgow Library Entrance Foyer Gallery, Dr Debra Strickland (History of Art) will give an informal, illustrated presentation on her new book, The Epiphany of Hieronymus Bosch: Imagining Antichrist and Others from the Middle Ages to the Reformation (Harvey Miller Publishers). Published in 2016 on the 500th anniversary of the death of the great Netherlandish painter, Hieronymus Bosch, this study explores one of his most famous works, the Adoration of the Magi triptych (c. 1500), housed today in the Prado Museum in Madrid.
The talk, which takes place in association with Academic Book Week 2017, will focus on Bosch’s eccentric treatment of a familiar Christian subject–which incorporates a decidedly nefarious ‘subplot’ heralded by a half-dressed, exotic pale figure looming menacingly in the background–and its implications for early modern viewers. Beyond offering a new interpretation of this particular painting, the study’s broader goal is to demonstrate that works of art have ‘lives’ that extend well beyond the moments they were created, and thus can yield new meanings when observed by different viewers over time and against the changing backdrop of world events. From this perspective, academic books also have ‘lives’, and so the talk will conclude with a brief consideration of the potential life of this one as a work of scholarship, as well as its fate as a material object.