The Worlds of Hieronymus Bosch, Enemy Painter HISTART4081

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces the art of the influential early Netherlandish painter, Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516). Its organisation is thematic, with emphasis on Bosch's artistic originality and the ways in which the subject matter of his paintings and drawings resonate with important religious, social, and political ideas of his day. Special attention will be paid to his representations of monsters, non-Christians and women as vehicles for social satire and religious condemnation.


1 x 1hr lecture; 1 x 1hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in History of Art and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History of Art, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Essay (3,000 words) - 60%

Oral Presentation of 10 minutes - 20%

Two set exercises (400 words each) - 20%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ analyse the artistic contributions of Hieronymus Bosch in their broader contemporary artistic, social, religious, and political contexts

■ critically assess the medieval artistic traditions perpetuated in Bosch's work

■ critically examine the contemporary theological and social significance of Bosch's representations of non-Christians, women, and monsters

■ examine and critique the historiography of Bosch studies

■ prepare students for senior honours study by fostering students' skills in visual analysis, critical thinking, and historical research

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ identify and evaluate key works of art discussed in the course

■ critically assess key secondary literature on Bosch and his art

■ critically explore the influence of medieval artistic traditions in key works of art discussed in the course

■ appraise the multiple functions of Bosch's representations of non-Christians, women, and monsters in key paintings and drawings

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.