The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch: 5 things to know

THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS BY BOSCH: 5 THINGS TO KNOW

What is exactly a Garden of Earthly Delights?
I always imagined it as a lawn, illuminated by the summer sun, where men live in peace with nature.
Also Hieronymus Bosch imagined his own Garden of Earthly Delights, and depicted it in a painting difficult to understand.

In this post you’ll find 5 things you must know about the most complex and mysterious work by Bosch.

The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch

Bosch | Garden of Earthly Delights

The central panel of the Triptych of the Garden of Earthly Delights

1. WHEN THE TRIPTYCH OF THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS WAS PAINTED

There are no documents containing clear indications as to when The Garden of the Earthly Delights was painted, and not even who commissioned Bosch the painting.
The oldest source which describes this painting is the “History of the Order of Saint Jerome” (1605).

2. MEANING OF THE TRIPTYCH OF THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS

The Triptych of The Garden of Earthly Delights is a painting containing a complex symbolism and where humanity is depicted according to medieval Christian doctrine.
Scholars agree that the painting probably conveys a religious meaning, and it can’t be the expression of the painter’s personality, as some scholars had speculated in the past.

You can admire The Garden of Earthly Delights at the Prado Museum.
READ ALSO – Prado tickets: how to buy your ticket to skip the line

3. DESCRIPTION OF THE TRIPTYCH OF THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS

The Triptych of The Garden of Earthly Delights is divided into three panels perfectly coherent. So, the outer and inner parts of the panels complement each other.
When the side panels are closed portray the creation of the world, and are the introduction to the first scene you can see when the panels are open and depict the Garden of Eden.

4. THE EXTERIOR PANELS OF THE TRIPTYCH OF THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS

The outer panels, visible only when the triptych of The Garden of Earthly Delights is closed, depict the creation of the world.
The world is portrayed as a transparent sphere where the lower part seems to be a boiling liquid, while at the upper left God appears in the act of creation.

5. THE INNER PANELS OF THE TRIPTYCH OF THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS

In the left panel Bosch depicted the creation of Eve before Adam’s gaze, while in the scene of the central panel he portrayed the pleasures of the flesh and love. The space is occupied by a multitude of naked figures portrayed in any positions, while the architecture is imaginary.
In the right panel, instead, Bosch painted horrible tortures in a gloomy landscape, and where musical instruments are often used to inflict pain.
For this reason the scene has been described as a devilish concert.

You can admire all details of Bosch’s painting on the page https://tuinderlusten-jheronimusbosch.ntr.nl/en#

Triptych of The Garden of Earthly Delights

The Triptych of The Garden of Earthly Delights with closed panels

In addition to the Triptych of The Garden of the Earthly Delights the Prado Museum houses masterpieces by Velazquez, El Greco, Titian and many other artists.
READ ALSO – Prado works: what you must see

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