Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let Bosch let you escape for a minute.

The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch
1503-1504, Oil on wood, 87 in × 153 in

It's Bosch day people! If you're are thinking, "What the crap?" You are on the right track. What the crap is exactly right. Bosch is like the 16th century equivalent of modern day Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga is really freakin' weird, if you don't believe go watch this. After I saw that video I was left staring at my computer screen with a "what the crap" expression on my face. The funny part is people like Lady Gaga are accepted, and even more weird, encouraged in today's society and media, but 16th century Bosch... not so much.

Bosch is puzzling, imaginative, and just plain weird. Let's take a gander in The Garden of Earthly Delights. Well I first should mention that the image I provided is part of a triptych, or a three panel painting, I just couldn't put that in here because my blog is structured narrow and it would cut off two of the panels. Oh and the second image is a close up from one of the panels. What's funny about Bosch is that no art historian has agreed on any interpretation for him. Actually it's even funnier when art historians try to explain Bosch. You get a whole lot of "odd like creatures" and "imaginative fantasy world," but that's where it stops. You can't get any further than that. A lot of people think that Bosch's work and symbols were widely reognized in his time, but seriously I don't believe this because one, why don't we know what they mean now, and two, yeah freakin' right. You can't tell me that an egg with tree stump legs and people living in it's butt was widely recognizable. True, some of the imagery is agreed upon. The triptych is called The Garden of Eathly Delights afterall, so you can infer some from that. Creation, Hell, Paradise, and Adam/Eve being among the few. For the most part, Bosch's work is just the typical pothead's splendor, but who am I to judge that!

Bosch just created these huge works of art with all these really weird things. It's hard to imagine even thinking like that, but he did. I mean I can draw a really weird thing just as well as the next two year old, but Bosch takes it to the next level. He creates these amazing fantasy worlds, much like J.K. Rowling does with Harry Potter, and as we know about the popularity of Harry Potter- people like that. People like escaping from their present situation and stresses into an imaginary world. Though Bosch's work might have been intended to show people the fate of the immoral, I view Bosch as an outlet for frustration. If I am ever stressed about school or something, I google Bosch and just stare. And each time, like looking at a "Where's Waldo" print, I find another creature feasting on the fish foot of a 6 legged monster with blue foam coming out of it's ears pierced with rainbow spears.

So for once, let's not try and find a mutual interpretation of a piece. Let's not suggest religious undertones, let's not try and spot all the influences, and most importantly let's just enjoy.

Let Bosch let you escape for a minute.


  1. In five hundred years no one has had such an artistic vision. I have a framed print of "Garden of Earthly Delights" hanging in my living room and each time I look at it I notice something new. Have you ever noticed the little flag on top of the broken orb that has the big pink bagpipe thingy on it? I didn't see that until just the other day.

  2. Whoa....kinda cool, all I can say is he must of been one interesting fellow to know in his day. What an imagination, I suspect in today's world he may have had some type of mental disorder diagnosis, perhaps...maybe not. I do like it and yes you can stare at it forever and never get bored. and btw, I can very much appreciate Lady Gaga's uniqueness, self expression and sense of passion.