Born in c. 1450 the, exact date of his birth is not known, the work of Hieronymus Bosch has a surrealistic, cartoon like quality and expresses the moral failings of the human condition with utter pessimism. He lived in the town of 's-Hertogenbosch, in northern Brabant, now Holland, for all of his life.
Bosch came from a long line of painters, both his Grandfather and Father were painters and his Father, Antonius van Aken, was an adviser to the Brotherhood of Our Lady, a religious group made up of influential citizens of 's-Hertogenbosch.
Very little is known about his life, he left no letters or written diaries, and almost all of the information we have comes from the official records of his home town 's-Hertogenbosch.
Bosch married Aleyt Goyaerts van den Meerveen in about 1480. His new wife came from a wealthy family and had inherited land in the nearby town of Oirschot.
In 1488, following in the footsteps of his father, he joined the Brotherhood of Our Lady. The influence of the brotherhood enhanced the artist's reputation. Bosch's work was popular in his own lifetime, and he received commissions from Austria, Spain and the Netherlands.
None of Bosch's work is dated although most are signed by the artist, attribution of his work remains difficult, today no more than 25 works are officially attributed to him.
The accounts of the Brotherhood of Our Lady record the death of Hieronymus Bosch in 1516. The records show that a funeral mass in his memory was held in the church of Saint John on 9 August of the same year.