Jacob van Almaengien (~1440-1506)
in Bosch's Paintings


Fraenger discovered Jacob van Almaengien in Cuperinus' “Kroniek of s'Hertogenbosch” and then attempted to make him into the “Hochmeister” of an obscure sect in Brabant. This cost him the attention of the art-historical profession. Today, Almaengien is a non-person in art history.

However, any close reading of Bosch's paintings cries for a mentor, who read Hebrew and was educated in the philosophy of the 15th century. Bosch at 18 did not have the knowledge of Neo-Platonism, which he painted in the “Garden Triptych”, nor that of the Hebrew version of the “Song of Mose”, which underlies the “Table of the Seven Deadly Sins” and the “Temptation of St. Anthony Triptych” near the end of his active life. The time was 50 years before Luther's Bible translation from the Hebrew original!

Jacob van Almaengien is required for any meaningful, critical interpretation of Bosch's work, and his life-long influence on Bosch is the simplest suggestion compared to alchemy, psychology, astrology, or anthroposophy.

Paul Klein's scientific dating of Bosch's paintings allows one to follow the co-operation of Bosch and Almaengien with only a few imaginative interpolations. The following table reproduces Jacob's appearances in Bosch's paintings in chronological order.



Painting, location of painting
and date


Additional comments





Garden Triptych
Center Panel
in the cave
Jeroen, Jacob and Sibylle

Prado, Madrid

1468



Jacob at age 28

Jeroen 18 years old





Garden Triptych
Left Wing

Prado, Madrid

1468



Betrothal of Jacob and Sibylle by
Christ, the founding of the New Covenant

Jacob 28





Wedding at Cana

Jacob and Sibylle

Copy
Rotterdam
1570

Original painting 1473 or later



Idealised portrait of
Jacob at his wedding 1470
30 years old







Wings of a Last Judgment Trptych

Palazzo Ducale, Venice

1491





Idealized portrait
of Jacob at 51







The Pridgal Son

Rotterdam

1495





Jacob's return to Den Bosch at 55





St. John Evangelist

dedicated to the admission of Jacob (now Sint Jan) into the Brotherhood of Our Lady in s'Hertogenbosch

Berlin

only dated painting by Bosch

1496/97




Jacob 55

Highly idealized portrait after
Jacob's baptism and admission to the Brotherhood 1496





Christ Bearing the Cross

Vienna

1499



Jacob at 59





Christ Bearing the Cross

Escorial

1499



Jacob at 59





The Temptation of St.Anthony
Left Wing

Rescue of St. Anthony

Lisbon

1502



Jacob in red coat at 62





The Haywain 1
Outside of the closed panels

Escorial

1505




An idealised Jacob at 63





Sicut Erat in Diebus Noë
The Flood

4 side-wing panels
Rotterdam

1515





Jacob rescues Sibylle (1471)

Remembering the
events of 1468-73
when Jacob was 31





Sicut Erat in Diebus Noë
The Flood

4 side-wing panels
Rotterdam

1515





Jacob's vision (1472)

Remembering the
events of 1468-73
when Jacob was 32



Sicut Erat in Diebus Noë
The Flood

4 side-wing panels
Rotterdam

1515



Jacob discovers the drowned Sibylle and her Child (1477)

Remembering the
events of 1477
when Jacob was 37





The Adoration of the Child

Copy

Cologne 1568

Original 1497



Painted 1497
on the 20th anniversary
of Sibylle's death in 1477

at the time of the painting
Jacob was 57 years old



fiesta de ayer