Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bosch's Hell

Painter Hieronymus Bosch died five hundred years ago today (August 9, 1516). I first learned about Bosch in an art history class in college. This was before I knew I was a certified creepy collector. I think Bosch may have opened the door for me on that one.

Not much is known about Bosch's life and, really, there aren't that many paintings in existence that have been certified as his work. If you were just casually browsing through a museum, you might pass by his work and think "hmmmm religious subject- now where are those Impressionists?", but you'd be missing out if you kept walking (besides, the Impressionist rooms are so crowded).  I'm sure you must have seen an image of The Garden of Earthly Delights somewhere. The beauty of Bosch for the creepy collectors is in the details. No one depicts Hell quite like Bosch. You have to wonder how this guy slept at night because while the acts are cruel, the little devils are kind of cute.

The Garden of Earthly Delights
There are a few things I want to bring to your attention today that show just how deeply Bosch can get into your psyche and float around in there. Did you know that there is a Bosch parade every year in the river at 's-Hertogenbosch (Bosch's home) in the Netherlands? This year's parade has already passed, but I think this needs to added to my "to visit someday" list. Check out the video from Youtube of this year's floating parade.

Artspace online has a funny article "The 10 Absolute Worst Ways to Die in a Hieronymus Bosch Painting." Good to know.

Photographer Lori Pond created a series called Bosch Redux in which she re-created images from Bosch's painting and photographed them. The final products look like painting themselves. Check out Pond's other series as well. She probably needs her own post.

You can even own your own little Bosch character from The Garden of Earthly Delights brought to you by Museumize.com. The figures are hand-painted resin and I need the entire set on my desk at work.
Devil on Night Chair Eating Human
Fat Belly with Dagger

Helmeted Bird Monster, Damned Human, Sister Swine
Tree Man Hybrid
Choir's Devil Freak
Ears with Knife

There are more where these came from.  I love the names they're given. How would you describe them? If you have time today, explore some Bosch paintings online. You'll be fascinated for at least an hour.


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