Hans Bol  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Hans Bol (1534–1593), Flemish artist, received his early training from his two uncles who were also painters. He then was the apprentice to a Mechelen watercolorist and tempera painter at the age of fourteen. Because Bol’s watercolors became so widely reproduced, he began creating miniatures on parchment. The technique earned him many international clients and a good income. In addition, Bol also produced several oil paintings, illuminated manuscripts, drawings, and engravings. He preferred to create landscapes, mythological, allegorical and biblical scenes, and genre paintings.

Style and work

Bol was a mannerist, which followed the High Renaissance.

One of his most famous works of art is Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, made with watercolours on paper. It was inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses, in which the ancient myth of Icarus is told. The painting is a marvelous example of the art of landscape. Subtle colour transitions, skilful perspective and effective contrasts between foreground and background, and human figures and the forces of nature, lend this miniature painting a cosmic dimension.

Bol chose the Icarus theme on several occasions. It was also subject of one of his paintings, which described in detail and highly praised by Karel van Mander in the 17th century. Although Bol was once an important and admired painter, we only know him through his small drawings and watercolours. Most of his paintings appear to have been lost. This miniature is all the more important, because it probably produces the painting referret to by Van Mander, which may have been his masterpiece. Consequently, Bol ought to be viewed not only as a superior miniature painter, but above all as an important artist who played a key role in the development of landscape art.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hans Bol" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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