Joseph Koerner, a professor of the history of art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, will untangle the mystery of the nature of evil as depicted in Hieronymus Bosch’s Renaissance triptych “The Garden of Earthly Delights.”
Koerner will set up the mystery in a presentation at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, at the Art Institute of Chicago. On the following night, at 6 p.m., he will return to the Art Institute, and, like a Sherlock Holmes of renaissance art history, will solve the mystery.
The unusual two-part lecture, titled “Enemy Painting: Enmity and the Unspeakable Subject,” is part of the Department of Art History’s 2007 Louise Smith Bross Lectures. Endowed in memory of Louise Smith Bross (Ph.D.,’94), the series, through only presenting its third program, is emerging as being among the most prestigious in the discipline, attracting leading scholars.
“We’re very excited to have him,”said Martha Ward, Associate Professor and Chair of Art History and the College. “Koerner is one of the world’s leading scholars in his field. And we think this lecture on the nature of evil will have very broad interest.”
A specialist in German renaissance art, Koerner has broad scholarly interests, having written on Paul Klee, Caspar David Friedrich, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, as well as self-portraiture in German renaissance art. His lectures on Bosch, Ward said, are part of a larger project in which he is examining conceptions of evil and goodness in 15th-and 16th-century art.