Hieronymus Bosch (1450- 1516): Pessimist, Strict Moralist, and Visionary of Surrealistic Symbolism

Before I have left Dante and his Divine Comedy too far behind, I want to explore what seems to me it’s influence not only upon popular church conceptions of the Judgment, Purgatory and Hell, but of its possible influence upon Hieronymus Bosch who painted approximately two centuries later.  I am unable to determine whether there exists any authority for such a position.   And yet, whether intentional or not, Dantes’ representation of The Last Judgment, Purgatory and Hell, bears bizarre similarity, even connection, to Bosch’s artistic representations of the same subject.  For all of the unconventional subjects of his painting, some commentators have noted that Bosch’s theology was conventional.

Hieronymus Bosch was born, lived, and worked in what is now the Netherlands. His style of painting seems to bear no resemblance to the prevalent style of painting of his day, and his symbolism is both rich and, it seems, anticipatorily Freudian. He was roughly contemporary with Michelangelo, although they were located geographically, theologically, morally and judgmentally “miles” apart.

We first were introduced to his art in our presentation of the creation through artists’ eyes in his triptych entitled, Garden of Earthly Delights. That painting seems strangely otherworldly and less than innocent, but his depiction of temptation and the Last Judgment is ritually bizarre, and, for such a moralist as he was, frankly, delightful in its depiction of human depravity.

Hieronymus Bosch’s “The temptations of St. Anthony”

See http://iampetjack.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/10/ for the source of the above photograph of the trip take and four one observer’s description and interpretation of the painting and its place in art history.

The last Judgment by Bosch

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Last_judgement_Bosch.jpg  for the source of the above photograph of Bosch’s triptych. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Judgment_(Bosch_triptych) for an excellent article concerning the piece.

For a different take on the subject, see, also, http://thinkingmakesitso.wordpress.com/tag/hieronymus-bosch/.

Compare a few paintings of the Twentieth Century Surrealistic painter, Salvador Dali:

the persistence of memory

The Persistence of Memory

Metamorphosis of Narcissus 1937 by Salvador Dalí 1904-1989

Metamorphosis of Narcissus


The Hallucinogenic Toreador

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

Home Page https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/


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