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VisionsofHELLandHEAVEN

byHieronymusBosch

Hieronymus (Jerome)Bosch
(1450 1516)
BornandlivedinsHertogenbosch (southernBelgium=Flanders) Fromafamilyofpainters

LittleisknownaboutBosch.We haveabout25worksbyhim, somesigned,nonedated.

The1450s aninterestingdecade.
1452 firstdatablebookprinted. Leonardoborn. 1453 Copernicus DeRevolutionibus. ConstantinoplefallstotheOttomans.

THENORTHERNRENAISSANCE
Politicalinstability *NetherlandsruledbyDukesof Burgundy. *1477 MaryofBurgundy marriesMaximilianof Germany aHapsburg. *HapsburgsruleIberiaand mostofEuropenorthofthe Alps.

Religiousunrest criticismofthe ChurchleadingtoLuthers95 theses(1517)theReformation andreligiouswars. Economicprosperity.

Religiousviews coloredthe experienceoflife.Alchemy and Astrology wereapartofscience ingeneralandmedicinein particularandhadreligious goals.

Boschsconcerns werewith human nature particularlyhow itsfunctioningwasimpededby thestainoforiginal sin. Thestruggleoftheweakself againsttheworldly temptations. Amoralisticviewoflife.

ErasmusofRotterdam,in1509,wrote ThePraiseofFolly,asarcasticanalysisof sinsandfollies,basedonthepremise thatthenaturalstateofmankindis STUPIDITY. Boschagreesandpaints THESHIPOFFOOLS.

Boschalsoprobablyinfluenced byThomasa Kempis,amonk wholivednearUtrechtandwho wrote(1420s)theImitationof Christ Howtoprogressfromworldly attachmentstomoralperfection andunionwithGod.

TheGardenofEarthlyDelights

Themeanings ofTheGarden centralpanel


AdmonitionofchildrenofAdam&Eve. The consequences of heresy. An allegory of alchemy. A feminist orientation. The delights of unbridled sexuality. Etc. Etc.

Sociologically sincetheMiddle Ages,greatfearaboutsin, impurity,heresy,etc.leadingto damnationinhell,occurringat ChristsSecondComing: THELASTJUDGMENT

By1200,theWest(main) entranceofalmostallchurches hadagraphicportrayaloftheLJ.

TheSaved in Paradise

Christ in majesty Judging

The Damned in Hell

Conques
On Christs right: The assembled saints stand before Christ, full of joy. On Christs left: The wicked suffer the torments of the damned, roasting in the midst of flames and demons, perpetually groaning and trembling At the bottom: O sinners, if you do not mend your ways, know that you will suffer a dreadful fate.

WheredidBoschgethisvisual images?

Earlierpictures?,e.g.DirkBouts

Literarysources?
THEVISIONLITERATURE i.e.imaginary(visionary)visitsto thenextworld.

Visions: Gilgamesh

c.2000B.C.E. Aenead c.15B.C.E. Apocalypses Peter(IIcentury) Paul(IIIcentury) HildegardofBingen Dante

AndIsawahorrendousplace,fullof fierythornsandspikesandhorrible worms,throughwhichwickedspirits harriedwithfierywhipsthesoulsof thosewho,whiletheywereintheir bodiesintheworldstoodforallkindsof Injustice. Hildegarde ofBingen (10981179)

TheVisionofTondal 1149 AnIrishKnighthasaseizure.His soulisguidedbyanangel,to Hell,Purgatory,Heaven. Helearnsthedangersofsin,and therewardsofpenitence. i.e.amorality scenario.

VisionofTundale
After they had labored much and completed the shadowy journey, Tundale saw an incredibly large and horrible beast not far from them.Initsenormousmagnitudethisbeastexceededallthemountains hehadeverseen.Hiseyesseemedlikeburninghills.Hismouthwasopen and so wide that it seemed to him that it could contain nine thousand men. Moreover, in his mouth he had two very unusual parasites with turnedheads.Oneofthemhadhisheadagainsttheupperteethofthis beastandhisfeetdowntothelowerteeth;theother,justtheopposite, hadhisheaddownandhisfeetupwardstotheupperteeth Inextinguishable flames also belched forth from his mouth, and into this flame condemned souls were compelled to enter. An incomparablestinkalsocamefromhismouth.Itwasnowonderthatboth the crying and howling of the multitude in his stomach were heard throughhismouthsincethereweremanythousandsofmenandwomen atoningindiretormentinside.

TheonlyillustratedTondal. CommissionedbyMargaretofYork. (DuchessofBurgundy,sisterof RichardIII)abibliophile. IllustratedbySimonMarmion,1474, inGhent.

WhereisBoschsVisionof Tondal? Lost?

TheSchoolofBosch

Boschslegacy
Wellknownifnotfamousinhistime. Paintingscollectedbynobilityand royalty. Reputationspreadbyengravings. Manyimitators SchoolofBosch. PieterBruegel theElder(152569) washisgreatestimitator.

Summary HieronymusBoschwasuniquely gifted,inventinghisown surrealisticstyle.

Boschhadamoralizingoutlook onlife,moreMedievalthan Renaissance. Heusedsatire,sarcasm,allegory, parody,etc.toanalyzepeoples motivationsandactionsduringa turbulenttimeontheveryeveof THEREFORMATION.