This exhibition explores Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights (c.1495 – 1505), and aims to open up the painting through multimedia and insights into its symbols, connecting it to The Hunt Museum Triptych.
Painted during the Age of Discovery (Columbus, Vespucci, America, Magellan, the Conquistadores, the Northwest Passage, Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci). Hieronymus Bosch was a painter of his time, whose influence reverberates down the centuries. His superior craftsmanship and pioneering imagination is evident in this triptych. This work is not a conventional tripartite altarpiece, instead Bosch has invented an entirely new form of secular triptych and its original purpose is obscure.
In 1605 the painting was dubbed the “Strawberry Plant,” by Fray José Sigüenza, because the subject was “the vanity and glory and transient state of strawberries”—in other words, the fleeting nature of pleasure. The most probable interpretation is that when closed the outer panels represent the world under flood, but when open, it is the world before the flood, with the garden of Eden on the left and Hell on the right, together illustrating the origin, indulgence and punishment of sin.
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