Though he mostly signed his work with the name Jheronimus Bosch, he was actually called Jheronimus van Aken. His ancestors came from Aachen, Germany, and established themselves as painters in Nijmegen in what is now the Netherlands. His grandfather, Jan van Aken, migrated to the town of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (commonly called Den Bosch) to paint, bringing his family with him and this is where Jheronimus “Bosch” was born and grew to be a painter as well.
Early art scholars (17th c.) such as Felipe de Guevara believed Bosch’s work was created merely to titillate and amuse, filled with dreams and nightmares, much like the grotesques of the Italian Renaissance.
Bosch was a member of the deeply religious group, The Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady and the town of ‘s-Hertogenbosch was religiously progressive, therefore, modern art historians have argued that Bosch’s art was inspired by heretical points of view and used his paintings to satirize, teach and denounce the abuses and scandalous behavior of the clergy.
In case you didn’t know, an astronomical clock shows real time, solar time and star time along with the lunar time and the phases of the moon, the zodiac and the position of the moon and sun in the zodiac. There is also a “calendar wheel” which shows the days of the week, the twelve months and the Religious Holidays and Saint days. Pretty impressive for the 16th century!