“Painting is a hell of a job, all the time you try to do things for which they lock up other people.”
Bosch’s style is very different from other Flemish Primitives. His diabolical and erotic representation of the religious scenes from our religious teachings made him particularly unloved, but no less popular.
In addition to God, Bosch also looked at the behavior of the inner man with his natural urge for fornication, lust and decadence.
The pope thought Bosch was a heretic, but historians rather immortalized the last of the Flemish Primitives as a guts , who dared to expose the demonic world from the divine world, figuratively and literally.
Jheronimus van Aken was from ’s Hertogenbosch, hence his nickname Bosch. He was 66 years old when he died in 1516, when the Dutch made themselves immediately understood everywhere.
Who the #hell is Bosch
culture shock of the church
In the time of the Flemish Primitives there was a lot of panic, inhabitants still believed in the devil and black magic. The prosecution has claimed tens of thousands of victims at the stake at the Renaissance. Alchemists, philosophers and freethinkers were tortured to death under pressure from the church.
Hieronymus Bosch also fled the Inquisition with his bold and mischievous scenes, but his paintings are the most famous and notorious visualizations of the Bible stories ever since the Day of Judgment itself.
In the 3D-Museum we almost bring 3 triptychs by Jheronimus Bosch to life with physical sculptures on a human scale, namely the Garden of Earthly Delights, the Last Judgment and the Antonius triptych.
It is no coincidence that these 3 triptychs were chosen for Bosch reproductions.
In the Antonius triptych, Saint Anthony resists numerous diabolical temptations (coercion), in sharp contrast to the ordinary mortal in the Garden of Earthly Delights where there is plenty of sinning (free will), and in the Last Judgment we see the consequences of this sinful life (punishment).
Garden of Earthly Delights
scale 45 : 1
The most famous triptych from Bosch, the Garden of Earthly Delights, is 220 cm high and 389 cm wide, or more than 8 m². The reproduction in 3D is approximately 360 m². As many as 220 characters from the original canvas were scrutinized and transformed into physical sculptures on a human scale.
With the Garden of Earthly Delights, Jheronimus Bosch shows how we mortals, sprouted from the earthly paradise, are on our way to horrific hell through our unchaste life on earth.
Garden of Earthly Delights – c. 1480 – Museo del Prado, Madrid
scale 18 : 1
The original triptych about the Last Judgment by Bosch is 163 cm high and 247 cm wide, or approximately 4 m². The reproduction in 3D is approximately 70 m². No fewer than 93 characters from the canvas are shaped into physical sculptures on a human scale.
With the Last Judgment, Bosch warns of the consequences of a sinful life and sees the most terrible tortures that mortals must undergo on the day of judgment.
Altar triptych with The Last Judgment circa 1482 Gemäldegalerie Berlin
scale 24 : 1
St. Anthony’s triptych is 131 cm high and 238 cm wide, or more than 3 m². The reproduction in 3D is more than 76 m². Approximately 43 characters from the original canvas were taken under the magnifying glass and sculpted into human-sized physical sculptures.
In that time, Saint Anthony received much admiration. He was the only one who could resist the evil temptations and who did not commit fornication and sin. This in contrast to the ordinary mortals in this triptych…
Antonius triptych circa 1501 Museums Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon
Should we see Bosch as a sarcast full of bitter ridicule or as a fantast who satirically symbolizes the tyranny of the church of the time?
In order to better understand the thinking frame of the masterful artist, we return to history, to the time when Bosch was still a child.
Bosch was born in 1450 in what is now Nijmegen, the former County of Flanders, under the rule of the Dukes of Burgundy.
He grew up in a poor, but intellectual nest, and soon became a painter, just like his father. The man was married but had no children. He died unable to die at the age of 66, which was an advanced age for that time.
More than 25 Bosch works of art have been preserved in museums around the world. Unloved when he was alive, but enlisted by patrons such as the Dukes of Burgundy and the King of Spain, he goes down in history as the devil maker, and remains wildly popular until over 500 years of death.
In 1930, under the influence of psychoanalysis, it was assumed that Bosch was insane or that he would at least be obsessed with sin and guilt.
His dream images that he incorporated on the canvas had such an objectionable influence on the morality of the viewer that he could not be regarded as a normal person.
Later on, people wondered that Bosch was a junkie, after all he lived in the time of alchemists and unreliable magicians. Indeed, the unbridled imagination of Bosch makes the viewer wonder where he gets it all from. After all, not all painters who lived in the late Middle Ages had such a gruesome visual language.
But today it is believed that Bosch worked almost exclusively on commission and that his patrons from the bourgeois elite reflected their symbolism in Bosch’s works.
Many themes from Bosch’s work relate to elements that the well-to-do bourgeoisie engaged in, or that just bothered them about, such as fornication, lust and sin.