Exploring Bosch’s “Juggler” further

I’m certainly neither an art historian in general nor an expert on Bosch‘s painting “The Juggler”; yet, the fabulous Bosch Project I mentioned here recently and which you can find online here, has triggered some fun detective work on my side of the screen.


When we look at the famous painting, we could argue that the cutpurse on the left is simply taking random advantage of the juggler’s momentary action on the right. However, it could also be the case that the two main characters are partners in crime: The juggler provides the misdirection while the thief cuts up jackpots.

Some evidence for the latter version:

  1. These two eerie fellows stand juxtaposed to each other, thus framing the painting on the left and on the right, which may indicate a relation.
  2. They seem to be of very similar height (excluding the juggler’s top hat).
  3. By playing around with enlarged snippets of the painting, twisting and mirroring them, I came to realize that both men’s noses and faces in profile are very similar to each other, which could indicate that they are, in fact, brothers, both in life and in crime!

Have a look below: The size, crooked shape and nostrils of both noses are very similar. Also, both noses and half faces can be interchanged without much ado or any image manipulation:

Bosch Noses and Faces

More discoveries to come!


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