Tag Archives: surreal

Hieronymus Bosch: Renaissance Dali

16 Mar
Jheronimus Bosch

The Garden of Earthly Delights – Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch is like a 15th century version of Salvador Dali. (Or should that be: Dali is a 20th century version of Bosch?) Anyway, a lot of arty-type jebronis don’t think surrealism was a serious movement. But a lot of these same jebronis think that everything from the renaissance-era (including Bosch) was the bee’s knees. Whatever your opinion of surrealism in general, it’d be hard to deny that the fantastic does have a certain allure. And this piece is no exception.

The painting is called The Garden of Earthly Delights. It is a triptych, which means that it is divided into three folding sections. The first depicts man’s original state of grace when God first presented Eve to Adam–who ruined everything because she talked to a snake or something. Bitches be cray. The third panel depicts hell. People are being tortured, maimed, eaten, killed and so on. Fun stuff.

The middle panel is more ambiguous. Some people think it portrays humanity’s fall from grace into earthly pleasure and sins of the flesh. This is curious because despite the numerous prohibitions of the bible, nowhere does it say that you can’t smell a fish or float down a pond in an ovular pink cask sprouting flowers. For reasons like this, many people think the panel actually depicts paradise lost. Because that’s what I think about when I think about heaven: smelling fish in the sky. Then again, it was the 15th century and despite his fertile imagination, Bosch was limited by the canvas of his environment. I suppose heaven back then could be anywhere where raw sewage did not flow down the streets like rainwater. Also, lutes.

But back to the painting. Which panel would you like to see firsthand if were it real?

Personally, I’d like to be in the second section. Why not the others?

Well, the third panel represents hell, so that’s out of the…picture–ha! get it? Also, Hitler is a bit dramatic and Idi Amin would always seem like a pale impression of Forest Whitaker’s impression of him in The Last King of Scotland. “Ha ha! Come Nicolas!” Fine actor, that Mr. Whitaker.

There’s some weird Adam and Eve and Steve thing going on in the first panel, which I wouldn’t want to intrude on; so I wouldn’t go there.

This leaves the second panel. Whether it’s paradise lost or earthly sin and pleasure, I don’t care. Even though it looks like a nudist colony on acid, I’d still like to check it out. After all, I’ve never rode a griffin naked. In fact, I’ve never rode any animal naked. I’m quite timorous in that respect. That’s all the more reason why I’m curious to visit this strange land of lotus-eating, flower power nudists.

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