Paradise and Purgatory
Exhibition: Paradise and Purgatory
Artist: Hieronymous Bosch
Title: "The Garden of Earthly Delights"
Medium: Oil on Wood Panel
Year: c. 1504
This triptych by Bosch is infamous. As biblically creepy as it is perversely beautiful, the consequence of sin has never looked so fascinatingly futuristic and...creepy. I've seen this work many times before, and its always the same response: revulsion mixed with wonder. The skill and vision required to create this biblical journey from Adam and Eve to hellish hellfire is truly ASTOUNDING. What a mammoth effort, and what a powerful, powerful work this is. It is obviously a moral work, one designed to incite fear rather than admiration, but the grotesque third panel, damnation in all its hideousness, is worth the soul-scolding. I mean, what the...? Of course Bosch's grasp of the human form is not exactly on point, i.e. a little stiff/formal, but it is century-specific, representing that particular period. Final verdict: This is one powerful piece.