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The Cover
January 4, 2006

The Concert in the Egg

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2006;295(1):13. doi:10.1001/jama.295.1.13

For many years the raucous rollicking, Rabelaisian painting known as The Concert in the Egg (cover) was believed to be another work in the fantastical oeuvre of Hieronymus Bosch, the 15th-century Netherlandish painter from 's Hertogenbosch. Although it would seem hardly possible that anyone could imitate such an original as Bosch, extensive and ongoing scholarship over the past century now places the work well into the 16th century, at its midpoint or even later. Verification was assisted by examination of the style of the costumes worn by the singers, but more importantly, by the identification of the music score. It is a song written in about 1549 by one Thomas Crecquillon, Kapellmeister at the court of Charles V. Bosch had by that time been dead for nearly 35 years. Not surprisingly, the authorship of the work has been consigned, at least for now, to the limbo designation of “after Hieronymus Bosch.”

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