Hell - Jerome Bosch (Part of the triptych “Garden of Earthly Delights”). 389 x 220 cm
Hell is the right wing of the artist’s most famous triptych called The Garden of Earthly Delights. In fact, the triptych is made completely in the style of Bosch - creepy visions, grotesque figures, terrible images are almost everywhere.
In the artist’s vision, hell appears as a monstrous surreal place. The critics often call the right wing of the triptych “Musical Hell” due to the fact that a wide variety of musical instruments are used here. However, one should not hope that they are used for their intended purpose. In fact, even the devils do not play on them, as one might suspect. Bosch decided to use methods of their application that were completely far from the direct purpose of musical instruments. In most cases, they act as torture devices.
For example, the artist’s harp plays the role of a cross for crucifixion or rearing up - an unfortunate sinner is spread on it. An innocent lute became the subject of torture of another poor fellow, who lies face down. Interestingly, notes are printed on his buttocks, along which a completely unimaginable choir sings - damned, led by a conductor with a fishy “face”.
The foreground of the picture is capable of plunging into shock even the modern person tempered by “horror”. A rabbit drags a man with a ragged belly, which is tied to a pole. At the same time, a stream of blood literally beats from the poor man. A predatory rabbit looks very peaceful, and this is a truly monstrous contrast compared to what he does and what his action should mean in the future.
The abnormality of this place is emphasized by the incredible size of berries and fruits, here and there scattered throughout the sash. When you look at this, it is not clear who is eating whom here - people are berries or people’s berries? The world turned upside down and became hell.
A frozen pond with wormwood, where a sinner, riding on a huge skate, rushes into the world, people flying into the light like brainless midges, a man grinding in a door lock - all these images are allegorical and, of course, understood by the artist's contemporaries. Something seen can be completely interpreted and interpreted in our days, but from the point of view of a modern man, and not of the late Middle Ages.
Interestingly, a Bosch scholar was able to decipher the notes engraved on the fifth point of the sinner. It turns out that the artist recorded a completely coherent melody that you can play and listen to. But this is the only normal real element in the delusional world of his hell.