Entertainment & Arts

'Lost' Bosch painting found in US museum

The Temptation of St Anthony Image copyright William Rockhill Nelson Trust
Image caption The Temptation of St Anthony will be shown at the Het Noordbrabants Museum's major Bosch exhibition, being held to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the artist's death

Art experts have discovered a new work by the 16th-Century painter Hieronymus Bosch.

The work entitled The Temptation of St Anthony was previously thought to have been created by a follower or pupil of the Dutch Renaissance master.

As a result it has been held in storage at an art museum in Kansas City, Missouri, US since it was acquired in the 1930s.

The small 16th-Century oil now adds to the small list of about 25 recognised Bosch paintings in the world.

Bosch was known for his comic and surreal images of heaven and hell and the moral purgatory of earth in between.

The little panel shows St Anthony holding a staff in one hand while he uses the other to fill a jug with water.

The picture suggests the saint is leading a life of peril as he dedicates himself to God. The danger he faces is symbolised by the strange creatures surrounding him.

Microscopic study

Researchers from the Bosch Research and Conservation Project (BRCP) have attributed the painting to the artist following an extensive study carried out as part of their six-year effort to catalogue all the artist's works before the 500th anniversary of his death, in 1516.

The anniversary will be celebrated with the large-scale exhibition Hieronymus Bosch: Visions of Genius at the Het Noordbrabants Museum in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.

Julian Zugazagoitia, the director and chief executive officer of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, said: "We are delighted with this major discovery by the BRCP.

"The scientific and scholarly research behind this attribution is one of the transformative achievements of the years of work leading to the exhibition Hieronymus Bosch - Visions of Genius."

Independent experts have not yet verified the BRCP's evidence but its research into the Bosch works is the most comprehensive to date.

It involved them studying underdrawings, comparing motifs and details at a microscopic level and analysing brushwork.

The Het Noordbrabants Museum exhibition will be based on the BRCP's study and will be the biggest display of Bosch's work to date.

It will open on 13 February 2016.

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