Miller and Bosch


The painting above is the oldest surviving Dutch painting, and depicts my kindred, the Roovers, who married into the Rosemondt family, who were Swan Brethren, and, may be seen in Bosch’s painting ‘The Marriage Feast at Cana’.  According to Oregon Author, Damon Knight, two figures were painted over and replaced with two dogs. I identify one as Pope Adrien, and the other, my possible kin Gottschalk Rosemondt, the Master of Leuven and the Falcon Art College, and, founder of the Papal College.

The devil in Henry Miller’s Big Sur paradise is Conrad Moricand: “A friend of his Paris days, who, having been financed and brought over from Europe as an act of mercy by Mr. Miller, turns out as exacting, sponging, evil, cunning and ungrateful a guest as can be found in contemporary literature. Mr. Miller has always been a remarkable creator of character. Conrad Moricand is probably his masterpiece. . . .A Devil in Paradise is the work of a great novelist manqué, a novelist who has no stricter sense of form than the divine creator. . . .Fresh and intoxicating, funny and moving. . .”

Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch by Henry Miller

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 § 0

Henry Miller and the Auto(bio)graphical Essay: Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch
A Book Review by 
David Detrich

Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch (1957) by Henry Miller is a monumental work that describes the local history of Big Sur with the friends and artists that arrived on the mountainous coast to form a small artist’s community, and includes passages of innovative poetic writing inspired by the natural beauty of the California coast. Henry Miller could meditate on the oceanic views which inspire a poetic style of writing, an esthetic trend of nature inspired writing which I call the Big Sur esthetic, while creating allusions to other writers of relevance: with the original expository style of writing that he developed since his reading of the modern philosophers in his early years as a writer. Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch is an autobiographical memoir of Henry Miller’s arrival at Big Sur after having written some of the most well known books of the early 20th Century, including The Tropic of Cancer (1934) and Black Spring (1936).
Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch begins with the awareness of the oneness of the artist community. Rather than a rivalry between writers, Henry Miller suggests that we work as one.
     In summer, when the fog rolls in, one can look down upon a sea of clouds floating listlessly above the ocean; they have the appearance, at times, of huge iridescent soap bubbles over which, now and then, may be seen a double rainbow. In January and February the hills are greenest, almost as green as the Emerald Isle. From November to February are the best months, the air fresh and invigorating, the skies clear, the sun still warm enough to take a sun bath. 
    From our perch, which is about a thousand feet above the sea, one can look up and down the coast a distance of twenty miles in either direction.
                                                          Big Sur and the Oranges
                                                          of Hieronymus Bosch
                                                          Henry Miller
Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch is composed of three sections: The Oranges of the Millennium, Peace and Solitude: A Potpourri, and Paradise Lost. Henry Miller foreshadows the new millennium which begins in the year 2000, and writes passages of innovative fiction between the more objective chronicle of local history, writing in a poetic style that creates an intertextuality with other Big Sur novels.
I see the one who dreamed it all as he rides beneath the stars. Silently he enters the forest. Each twig, each fallen leaf, a world beyond all knowing. Through the ragged foliage the splintered light scatters gems of fancy; huge heads emerge, the remains of stolen giants. 
                                                          Big Sur and the Oranges
                                                          of Hieronymus Bosch
                                                          Henry Miller
This poetic style of writing parallels my own first novel Big Sur Marvels & Wondrous Delights (2001) by David Detrich, and shows the awareness of other writers who have been inspired by the Big Sur coast: Richard Brautigan, Jack Kerouac, Robinson Jeffers, William Everson and Carolyn Mary Kleefeld.
In all, almost a hundred painters, writers, dancers, sculptors and musicians have come and gone since I first arrived. At least a dozen possessed genuine talent and may leave their mark on the world.
                                                          Big Sur and the Oranges
                                                          of Hieronymus Bosch
                                                          Henry Miller
Henry Miller was impressed with the work of Hieronymus Bosch, and became a watercolor artist himself which he describes in his essay To Paint Is To Love Again (1960).
Bosch is one of the very few painters who—he was indeed more than a painter!—who acquired a magic vision. He saw through the phenomenal world, rendered it transparent, and thus revealed its pristine aspect. Seeing the world through his eyes it appears to us once again as a world of indestructible order, beauty, harmony, which it is our privilege to accept as a paradise or convert into a purgatory.
                                                          Big Sur and the Oranges
                                                          of Hieronymus Bosch
                                                          Henry Miller
Henry Miller published Into the Nightlife… (1947), a story taken from Black Spring (1936) that is written in the American modernist style, a dreamlike vision inspired by New York, and illustrated with the artistry of Israeli artist Bezalel Schatz. As a writer of innovative fiction Henry Miller developed his esthetic theory of dreamlike reality into the more sophisticated collaboration with artist Bezalel Schatz. I had a chance to look at the boxed edition of Into the Nightlife… (1947) while visiting the Henry Miller Memorial Library, and I find this to be his finest work, which parallels other poet/artist collaborations of the 20th Century such as Paul Eluard and Joan Miro’s À Tout Éprouve (1958). 
Henry Miller considered the dream reality that the Surrealists and Anais Nin were exploring in the early decades of the 20th Century, with Henry Miller showing a visionary dreamlike style that he at times calls “frenetic.” 
Prompted by Anaïs Nin and her immersion in psychoanalysis, Miller paid careful attention to recording his dreams and their impact on his psyche.
                                                      Henry Miller and narrative 
                                                      form: constructing the self, 
                                                      rejecting modernity
                                                      James M. Decker
Henry Miller writes as a visionary in Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch with a metaphysical style that is inspired by the beauty of the coast. As a writer he opens the windows of his soul onto paradise.
The windows of the soul are infinite we are told, and it is through the eyes of the soul that paradise is visioned. If there are flaws in your paradise, open more windows! Vision is entirely a creative faculty: it uses the body and the mind as the navigator uses his instruments!
                                                           Big Sur and the Oranges
                                                           of Hieronymus Bosch
                                                           Henry Miller
Henry Miller mentions in the preface to Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch that some of his books were banned for years, and it appears from the beginning that Henry Miller has chosen a difficult path as a writer. With Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch Henry Miller has written a large scale self-portrait set in Big Sur with references to popular philosophers, and the artist community of the Big Sur coast, a large scale book written with the skill in essay/fictional writing that will help it remain a classic for years to come.

David Detrich lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where he has just completed The Convergence of Two Narrative Lines Ascending, an ultramodern Surrealist novel written in minimal squares. He is working on Dream the Presence of the Circular Breast Starfish Topography, a monumental Surrealist novel written with innovative typographical design. His first novel Big Sur Marvels & Wondrous Delights (2001) is available from Amazon. He is the editor of Innovative Fiction Magazine and Surrealist Star Clustered Illuminations.

Come to Maurick Castle

maurick3 maurickc maurickc2 kastlem6

This is a calling. I bid all my enemies and members of my family to end their fight with me and come to Maurick Castle – figuratively speaking! Here is the history associated with this castle.

Here is the Rosemondt cote of arms. The Duke of the Woods is the Dukes of Brabant who are close kin of Godfrey de Bouillon a Grand Master of the Knight Templars.


In 1430 my ancestor, Godschalk Roesmond, came to live in Maurick Castle. The
most prominent citizens of ‘s-Hertogenbosch lived here. How and why they came to
own this castle has caused confussion amongst historians.. I suspect only the
mayors of ‘s-Hertogenbosch lived here, and thus this castle was a Mayor’s
Palace. The other requirement was that they were members of Swan Brethen. I
suspect Godschalk Rosemondt was the mayor of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and a high-ranking
member of the Lieve-Vrouwe-broederschap. Mairick Castle would have been an ideal
place for raising swans that were served up to the brethren who worshiped `Our
Sweet Lady’ that we see being carried in procession to Saint Janskerk church.
Ghisburt Roesmont was the Church Master of Janskerk that was designed by Jan
Heyns, who appears to have been a Master Mason. Jan Heyns also remodeled Maurick
castle that was owned by members of the Heym family who were Zwanenbroeders.

Another Godeschalc Roesmont was a weaver who worked in Louvain’s Guildhall in
1392, that later became Louvain University. Rosemondt was the executor of Pope
Adriaan VI’s will. Roesmont founded the Pope’s College in Adrian’s home and
opened it to the sons of poor families so that the humble may produce leaders of
the Catholic church that was prone to sell its offices to wealthy and powerful
men. For this reason I suspect Adrian may have been the true father of the
Reformation, he later authoring a Anti-Reformation to counter Luther’s radical
Members of my Rosamond family in England own correspondence between Erasmus and
Godeschalc Rosamond.who was sympathetic to this Humanist and Renesiance Man.
Both men may have known Hieronymus Bosch who was also a member of the the
`Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady’ (Illustre Lieve Vrouwe
Broederschap). I am looking at the possibility Adrian and Rosemont are the two
figures that used to be in the foreground of Bosch’s `The Wedding Feast at
Cana’. They survive in a Bosch drawing at the Louvre. The work we see is a copy.
I suspect the origianl painting was destroyed by Catholics who may have seen
Adrian as a member of the Reformation. The Rosemonts fought allongside William
of Orange a Zwanebroeder, and fled to England as Huguenots.

In the procession of Our Lady to Janskerk, and in Maurick Castle, we see members
of the Saint George Guild who were founded in 1359 as a miltita of crossbow
archers. Here again is a Rouge Knight on horseback guarding our Sweet Crimson
Lady who some believe is Mary Magdalene.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2008


1185: Duke Hendrik I van Brabant grants a charter to the settlement that was created on the high sandy areas where the rivers Aa and  Dommel meet. The city was founded to protect the Dukedom of Brabant against invasions from neighbouring Holland and Gelderland. It will grow to become the fourth city within the Dukedom of Brabant.
1220: Outside the city walls of ’s-Hertogenbosch, a Romanesque church is built, dedicated to the evangelist St. John.
In 1380 work is begun on St. John’s transforming it from a Romanesque church to a Gothic edifice. It’s finally completed in 1530. When the pope declares ’s-Hertogenbosch an official diocese, St. John’s officially becomes a cathedral.

1318: The Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady is founded. It’s also known as Zwanenbroederschap (Swan’s Fraternity) due to the extravagant birds it served at its banquets.

The society that was initially founded in honour of the Virgin Mary had its own chapel in St. John’s Cathedral. Over the centuries, the brotherhood had a large number of influential members, including William of Orange, the painter Jeroen Bosch and Queen Beatrice.

1442: On 26 November a guesthouse for the mentally ill is founded with money from the estate of Reinier van Arkel. Located on the Hinthamerstraat, it still serves its original function and is now the oldest psychiatric hospital in the Netherlands.
1450: Hieronymus van Aken is born into a family of painters and later calls himself Hieronymus Bosch. He lives by the market where he produces such world-famous works as The Garden of Earthly Delight and The Last Judgement. He dies in 1516.
1481: Maximillian of Habsburg calls together the fourteenth chapter, or meeting, of the Order of the Golden Fleece in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. This extremely exclusive order was founded in 1430 in honour of the knighthood and for the protection of the faith. During this meeting, Maximillian’s son, Philip the Handsome, is knighted.
1566: On 22 August and 10 October there are iconoclastic riots in ’s-Hertogenbosch, which are part of a massive unrest known as the Beeldenstorm. Monasteries and chapels are attacked and the interior of St. John’s Cathedral is badly damaged. The Catholic government in Brussels finally restores order in their Counter Reformation and many reformers and protestants leave the city.
1579: On 1 July, fighting breaks out between supporters and opponents of the Union of Utrecht in ’s-Hertogenbosch, which initially supported independence from Spain. 40 people are killed and 120 injured. A day later upon hearing that the Spanish General Parma has conquered Maastricht and is heading to ’s-Hertogenbosch, Calvinists flee the city.
1629: The city and its fortress, which for many years had been considered unassailable, surrenders to the army of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. The Catholic faith is banned and male Catholic clergymen are forced to leave the city. Many artworks, including paintings by Bosch, disappear from the city.
1794: After three weeks of siege, the military governor of the city surrenders to French troops led by Pichegru. The living conditions of Catholics is much improved as a result and they’re once again allowed to be a part of the city council.
1874: The city’s official status as a fortified city is revoked as modern munitions have made the fortifications obsolete. However, unlike most other fortified cities in the Netherlands, ’s-Hertogenbosch’s city walls are not torn down due to their secondary function as dams. They become a symbol of the city.
1881:  On 17 December, the painter Jan Sluijters is born. Together with Piet Mondriaan and Kees van Dongen, he becomes one of the Netherlands’ most innovative painters. During the world exhibition in Paris in 1937 he wins the prestigious Grand Prix.
1944: ’s-Hertogenbosch is liberated on 27 October by soldiers of the 53rd Welsh Division. In fierce fighting, 144 British soldiers are killed, 75 are reported missing and 270 are injured.
2005: ’s-Hertogenbosch is declared Fortified City of Europe 2005, thanks to the great efforts the city undertook to restore its fortifications.
2010: ’s-Hertogenbosch is declared the City of the Palate and organises several events relating to food and drink.

Rosemondt: A Humanist Renaissance Family

In 145o the Roesmonts came to own Wolfhouse, an ancient estate in Holland. Is
this the source of the wolf coat of arms seen in the Rebleuten guild, and in the
captain seals in Bosch? Did members of the Roesmont family found a guild at
Wolfhouse? The wolf name is found in two generation of Roesmonts. Rudolph
Godsclack Roesmont Son of : Godscalck Roesmont, Children ;1: Godschalck Roelofs
Roesmont. 2: Hadewich Rodolphus RoesmontErhart de Rougemont bought in 1495 “the
house called Rebleuten-Zunft in Basle in the Freistrasse. This is is the house
of guild in Switzerland whose symbol is the wolf holding a special knife to
harvest grapes. Weavers were once co-members of this guild.

The Miracle Statue of the brotherhood

The brotherhood was founded in 1318, by one Gerardus van Uden, though it is
possible that it existed before and that its existence was only formalised in
1318. Originally, membership was reserved for priests and monks, but it soon
opened its doors and allowed women and laymen. The sacred home of the
brotherhood was its side chapel on the north side of the St John’s Cathedral and
Bosch had various commissions for this chapel. It was also the location of the
so-called “Mirakelbeeld”, the Miracle Statue, a statue of the Virgin Mary that
was found in 1380, allegedly in a corner of the cathedral. Art historians
believe the figure was carved between 1280 and 1320, roughly contemporary with
the foundation of the order that would embrace and promote the statue’s worship.
Some have argued the statue was not found, but “made public” by the order, so
that what was once private worship, would attract interest from the general
public. If so, they succeeded.

When Bosch was buried in August 1516, the ceremony was carried out with the
usual regards due to members of the order. What made him become a member of the
order? Some might argue it was his marriage, but his grandfather, Jan Van Aken,
had also entered the order in 1430. He is not only listed as a member, but it
also employed him as a restorer and painter. Jeroen’s first entry on the
membership list is in 1486, as a “buitenlid”, an “outer member”, to become a
sworn brother in 1488.

Shortly afterwards, he was the guest of honour on the so-called swan meal, in
which a swan was offered – and apparently eaten. Custom required members to be
tonsured, which Bosch did, and he took to wearing the curious homespun garments,
a derivative of the costume worn by ecclesiastics. The brotherhood was also
known to perform mystery plays and other theatrical productions and it is known
that Bosch played an active role in stage performances and religious ceremonies.
Hence, the grotesque faces that are so prominent in some of his paintings, are
sometimes said to be inspired by the masks the actors used in these stage

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Miller and Bosch

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    The Dutch Connection.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.