Would You Travel to Netherlands for an Art Show? The Bosch Exhibition is Tempting Me

You must have seen “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” The original in the Prado, a print perhaps, sure one of the many homages and references in pop culture such as The Simpsons episode Bart Gets Hit by a Car.

The Garden of Earthly Delights (source: Wikicommons, public domain)

The Garden of Earthly Delights (source: Wikicommons, public domain)

Hieronymous Bosch lived in ’s-Hertogenbosch, dying 500 years ago. The local Noordbrabants Museum has opened a superlative show, Hieronymus Bosch: Visions of Genius, running through May 8, 2016. The Bosch 500 website has details on the show and companion events and activities such as the Bosch Grand Tour. The town is a 1.5-hour train ride from Amsterdam.

The FT sets the context in Hieronymus Bosch: one hell of a hometown exhibition, noting it “assembles from loans across Europe and America two-thirds of his 25 extant paintings, and 19 of his 20 works on paper.”

The Garden of Earthly Delights remains at The Prado, as do 2 of 4 other works planned to loan, after a scuffle between the museums. The Prado will run its own Bosch Exhibition May 31-November 9, 2016.

I am not a natural art connoisseur. I have read several works of art history and visited many museums, seeking to build my cultural appreciation. The Europe-bound traveler can start with Rick Steves’ Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler.

Bosch, however, has fascinated me since my older brother chose Bosch’s work to adorn his bedroom wall. I don’t have Europe on my travel plans through May, though I am tempted to add it!

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  • Yes I would plan a trip to either this exhibit or the one in the Prado. Although you may get more of an appreciation of Bosch’s surreal paintings after a visit to one of Amsterdam’s “coffee shops.”

  • Dutch GUy

    As a travel expert, would you be interested in detailing the best way to get there for something like this?

  • Garrett

    I’ve traveled to Amsterdam (from Los Angeles) for a date! haha…wouldn’t do it these days, but have done more for less. 🙂

  • DavidB

    A couple of years ago I flew to VIE pretty much just to see the 100th anniversary exhibitions showing Klimt’s work and a year later to OSL for a similar set of exhibitions of Munsch’s work (though it did coincide with a group charter on SAS’s final MD80 flight). Currently down in Hobart (using miles on QF in F) primarily to check out the unique private Museum of Old and New Art…and sample Tadmanian whiskies. If these are our passions and interests in life, that should be why we travel and where we travel. We all have differing interests, but that we should have this in common if we have the resources for such indulgences.

  • jay

    It’s funny you ask, as I am in the Netherlands right now and wanted to go to this exhibition (having only heard about it once I was here), but it was entirely sold out for February. Many dates in March have few openings. A local suggesting waiting for the Prado exhibition (which has the famous “Garden”) as the way to go.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @DavidB – I went to Oslo last month and enjoyed the Munsch-o-mania. I did not know f the Museum of Old and New Art until I read the New Yorker piece a year after my trip, how is it?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @jay – I almost put in a note that based on walk-up lines at Amsterdam museums people should definitely book in advance, yikes, I wonder if there are any walk-up tickets?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Dutch Guy – certainly would. I recall hearing buying tickets for Dutch trains can be a challenge for foreigners due to the kiosks only accepting local cards, for instance, though have not traveled the county outside Amsterdam.

  • Getting to Den Bosch was easy from Schipol – two trains an hour when we visited in August. We were able to use our US cards at the train station counter, and cash always works too. The town itself is a nice change of pace from bustling Amsterdam too – small side streets to explore, preserved bastions, fun places to eat. All in all it makes a nice 1-2 night trip.

  • jay

    @stefan — we phoned and they said no walk-up tickets. Whether they are really unpersuadable is another matter, but I probably wouldn’t go just on that hope. I don’t know if there is a Dutch stubhub for art tickets…

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @jay – Dutch don’t strike me as leaders in flexibility, and with all the difficulty getting walk-up tickets at Amsterdam’s museums I wouldn’t chance the trip either. Sheesh, even Hamilton has that same-day raffle.