Hello everyone! This past week in class we have been covering the art that came out of the Northern Renaissance during the 1500’s. There was one work of art that really struck out to me, Garden of Earthly Delights by Heironymus Bosch. The piece itself is a triptych, which is a three fold panel, with a picture or carving on each panel. The panels were used as a alter piece typically.
The painting is strange and unusual, yet pessimistic. The triptych is the only part of the painting that is traditional, the composition is far from a traditional biblical story depiction. The exterior panels of the triptych depicts the creation of the world, which appears very dark and gloomy. The earth appears to be just forming. There are shapes of figures that are not clear in function yet appear to be emerging out of the surface.
Once the triptych has been opened, the three panels open up. Starting with the left wing, the viewer can observe the emergence of Adam and Eve. Bosch creates this fantastical garden with many animals. There is also a large ornate fountain with a pond that just adds even more of a whimsical aspect.
I find the central panel to be the most chaotic out of the three panels. This is Bosch’s interpretation of the sin and chaos that Adam and Eve started. This is also known as the scene of sinfulness. There are mass groups of nude figured and mythological creatures in personified costumes. The massive fruit throughout the panel somewhat overwhelm the work yet add character. In the bottom right hand side of the panel, you can see what is believed to be Adam and Eve looking put into the chaotic world that they created.
The right wing depicts the damnation along with the torments of the end of the world. There is no salvation in sight. There are depictions of a man tree egg hybrid that just makes no logical sense but this is Bosch’s version of Hell. I appreciate this depiction because in all reality we do not know what Hell looks like and or what torments one would undergo.