A fairy tale, the garden of Eden and Hell. Hieronymus Bosch was a painter (ca. 1450 to 1516) from the Medieval era representing fantasy landscapes with imaginary and bizarre characters. In one of his most famous painting, ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ he depicts in a triptych, a multitude of religious symbols blended with amusing dark isolated little scenes.
Hieronymus Bosch’s style is childlike and at the same time stern and serious. On the left side of the triptych, a religious scene. G.od is presenting Eve to Adam in the quiet and peaceful garden of Eden. What is looking like a traditional scene seems in fact to represent the beginning of life and its debauchery. The following part of the painting shows the consequences of a story we know too well nowadays. That is, the story of Adam eating the forbidden fruit and sent with Eve to another land. A land where nothing is in order. Birds and fruits are bigger than humans and seem to have dominated. The animals are feeding the humans. Which, from the look on their faces, are acting like zombies. We are looking at submissive and obedient individuals satisfying their primal needs, mating and eating. The last part of the triptych depicts macabre and violent scenes. The decline of corruption through the representation of hell. People are being tortured and murdered by the animals and other hybrid creatures. Knives, swords and arrows are completing the disastrous landscape.
The set of paintings is ultra-detailed and furthermore for an artist living in the Medieval era. This looks from afar like a tale for children. The naive colors and the rounded shapes makes the art piece easy to watch. That was probably the first intent. The second was to maybe address a message indirectly to the viewers. The story of Adam and Eve disobeying from their original paths and its inevitable deadly consequences is shown to the public. The context of the paintings are unsure but what is unquestionable is the talent, vision and beautiful imagination of Hieronymus Bosch.
The triptych, 20 paintings and 19 drawings, will be displayed at Noordbrabants Museum in the Netherlands as part of the ‘Hieronymus Bosch: Visions of a Genius’ exhibition from February 13th to May 8th 2016. (via Juxtapoz)