Saturday, September 12, 2009

In Bosch

The following resin figurines arrived in the mail the other day:

These are figurines of characters from Hieronymus Bosch's “Temptation of Saint Anthony”, a triptych painting depicting very surreal scenes and creatures in dark and on-the-edge-of-disturbing settings. Truthfully, I'm not sure that the figurine on the left in the picture above is from this work, since I've scanned over pictures of the painting a couple times now and cannot find the little cloaked fellow. You can take part in the same surreal “where's Waldo” experience I had by going here and see if you can find him (her? it?).

I was informed a couple years ago about a company in the Netherlands that has decided to make plastic figurines of characters from various famous artists. They offer other Bosch figurines, as well as figurines based on works from Dali, Escher, and others. I'm not exactly sure if they're selling a lot of these. I would honestly be surprised if they were.

Oddly, I had all but forgotten about this company and these figurines until I watched a film called “In Bruges”, in which the two main characters visit a museum (in Bruges, Belgium), which houses a Hieronymus Bosch collection. Bosch is not a central theme in the film – the museum scene is mostly played for comedy – but for whatever reason, that scene resonated with me enough to remind me of an odd little studio in the Netherlands selling Bosch figurines.

Hieronymus Bosch was born in a small town in the Netherlands appropriately named Den Bosch, sometimes referred to as Hertogenbosch. Coincidentally, I actually visited this little town a number of years ago. I do not remember seeing any fantastic looking creatures roaming the streets, but I do remember having a "Bosche Bolle", which is something similar to a large cream-puff covered in chocolate. Perhaps the most fantastic thing I did see was someone leaving a pastry shop with a "Bosche Bolle" the size of a human head.