The Garden of Earthly Delights is the modern title given to a triptych painted by the Early

600 WordsApr 23, 20193 Pages
The Garden of Earthly Delights is the modern title given to a triptych painted by the Early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch. It has been housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1939. Dating from between 1490 and 1510, when Bosch was between about 40 and 60 years old, it is his best-known and most ambitious complete work. It reveals the artist at the height of his powers; in no other painting does he achieve such complexity of meaning or such vivid imagery. The left panel (220 × 97.5 cm, 87 × 38.4 in) (sometimes known as the Joining of Adam and Eve) depicts a scene from the paradise of the Garden of Eden commonly interpreted as the moment when God presents Eve to Adam. The painting shows Adam waking from a deep sleep…show more content…
Bosch depicts a world in which humans have succumbed to temptations that lead to evil and reap eternal damnation. The tone of this final panel strikes a harsh contrast to those preceding it. The scene is set at night, and the natural beauty that adorned the earlier panels is noticeably absent. Compared to the warmth of the center panel, the right wing possesses a chilling quality—rendered through cold colourisation and frozen waterways—and presents a tableau that has shifted from the paradise of the center image to a spectacle of cruel torture and retribution. In a single, densely detailed scene, the viewer is made witness to cities on fire in the background; war, torture chambers, infernal taverns, and demons in the midground; and mutated animals feeding on human flesh in the foreground. The nakedness of the human figures has lost all its eroticism, and many now attempt to cover their genitalia and breasts with their hands. The triptych is painted in oil on oak and is formed from a square middle panel flanked by two other oak rectangular wings that close over the center as shutters. The outer wings, when folded, show a grisaille painting of the earth during the biblical narrative of Creation. The three scenes of the inner triptych are probably (but not necessarily) intended to be read chronologically from left to right. The left panel depicts God presenting Eve to Adam, the central panel is a broad

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