Monday, November 24, 2008

Hieronymus Bosch, the Logo, and the Haiga of Max Verhart

Over the years, I've received lots of questions about the Lilliput Review "logo" or the Hieronymous Bosch birdman as I think of him. Most recently, Gary Hotham sent along an email inquiry that was precipitated by his friend and fellow poet, Max Verhart. Max had been struck by the fact that both Gary's book Missed Appointment and his own only the white (which Max tells me is still available - send inquires to "max at verhart dot org") both contained the image. The image is in a photo haiga, from only the white. Here are some details from Max's email:

As it happens, I am living in the Netherlands in Den Bosch, the town that gave Jheronimus Bosch his family name. He lived and worked here. Last year I found some statuettes after some images from his paintings were being shown on pedestals in the small river that runs through (or even mostly under) the town. I made pictures of them that I later combined for use in the haiga.

And here is his haiga:

And here's a little closer look at what he is talking about:

It has been so long since I started using the Bosch art as a logo, almost 20 years, that I mistakenly thought it came from the work he is most famous for, The Garden of Earthly Delights. However it actually comes from his The Temptation of St. Anthony (it can be seen at the bottom of the left hand panel of the triptych). The net, being the amazing, er, thing that it is, yielded up this interesting artistic take. And, well, here.

In fact, the little guy seems to be all over the place.

I was initially intrigued by the fact that, whatever it is, it seems to be carrying a letter of some sort. What could be more perfect as a logo for a small press magazine starting out in the late 80's? I believe I ran across a nice high-quality reproduction of it in a Dover clip art book. A number of years back, a good friend of mine sent a nice blowup of the original which, though it crops the top, gives an idea of the kind of glorious detail with which Bosch rendered his work. The sheer scale of his work obscures its minute complexity:

And, you know, ya just have to love those old school ice skates ...


1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Interesting. I had no idea. I should have picked up on the resemblance.