“Bosschiana: Verloren Zoon – Johannes op Patmos – Wellusttuin – Doornenkroning” (Dirk Bax) 1953
In: Oud Holland, LXVIII (1953), 4, pp. 200-208]
[Also mentioned in Gibson 1983: 51 (D42)]
Some brief statements by Bax. The expression hij is buiten hoede (literally ‘he is outside the hat’ and figuratively ‘he is not on the alert’ in Middle Dutch), depicted by Bosch in his so-called Prodigal Son (Rotterdam), can also be seen in the wooden figure of a bird-seller in the choir stalls of the Church of Our Lady in Breda (the Netherlands), probably executed circa 1468.
In the St John on Patmos panel (Berlin) a little devil tries to steal the saint’s inkwell with his crook. A prototype of this scene can be found in a North Netherlandish manuscript from 1443.
Bax also says a number of things about the Garden of Delights (Madrid) that he will repeat in his (at that time) forthcoming book about the triptych (see Bax 1956).
On a trumpet in the Crowning with Thorns (Madrid) an ‘H’ has been painted, followed by an ‘O’ with seven little stripes (thus representing a little sun). The sun is the metallurgic sign for gold and according to Bax Bosch wanted to communicate: ‘Bosch who is working with gold here’. The trumpet sticks out against a golden background.