Holy Hermits

Hieronymus Bosch • Painting, 1490-th , 86.5×120 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Religious scene
Style of art: Northern Renaissance
Technique: Oil
Materials: Wood
Date of creation: 1490-th
Size: 86.5×120 cm
Artwork in collection: Bosch Elena Antonyuk
Artwork in selections: 14 selections

Description of the artwork «Holy Hermits»

"Holy hermits" a triptych of Bosch, suffered badly from time and (possibly) fire. Still in Venice, in the Doge's Palace.

Each of the valves is dedicated to one of the three saints on the right leaf written by Anthony, the most often depicted by Hieronymus Bosch, Saintin the Central – Jerome (he is also dedicated to a separate picture of Bosch), on the right – first appearing in the works of Hieronymus Bosch, Saint Giles.

It is believed that the literary sources for "the Holy hermits" were two medieval treatise: "the Book of Supreme truth," the Flemish mystic Jan van Rashbrooke where the three hermit personifiziert three stages of the ascent to the higher sense, and "the imitation Of Christ" by the German monk Thomas à Kempis, which, criticizing ostentatious outward piety, the author calls for the attainment of inner peace through self-denial, which consists in the mortification of the flesh, constant prayer and godly reflection.

Left wing. Saint Anthony

Founder of solitary monasticism, Antony is depicted on the background of dark nocturnal landscape, in the upper part of the animated glow of burning buildings, and in the lower – infested moskovskimi zoomorphic demons, and marked cephalopod monster. Anthony collects water in a jug (as in "The temptation of St. Anthony" from Kansas citythe painting, recently attributed to Bosch) and at this time faced with the temptation. In the pond near dry tree, knee-deep in water stands naked Queen of the night (this character occurs several times in the triptych of Hieronymus Bosch "The temptation of St. Anthony"), but Antonia, through prayer, overcome diabolic obsession.

Central fold. Saint Jerome

Jerome, which shows exhausted Bosch constant penance, is represented with the traditional attributes – a cardinal's red cloak and wide-brimmed hat, faded and old. It surrounds the fantastic scenery, rugged terrain, full of ruins that resemble a pagan temple. Scattered around the gloomy symbols of Satan in the world: the demonic rats devour each other, lying around the gnawed bones, in an unusual structure, resembling a hive, is a little figure – it is a symbol of alchemy, whether people are punished for lust. Little lion – a constant companion of Jerome – lapping water from the pond, turning away from the viewer. Don't wallow in despair helps the Holy crucifix, to which Jerome in prayer holds out his left hand.

Right-hand of the Saint points to the translucent vision of a certain Unicorn. In medieval semiotics is an animal lure which could only be a virgin, was considered a symbol of purity. On the other hand, his horn was regarded as a phallic symbol. To tame the Unicorn meant to overcome caused by the devil, the lusts of the flesh.

Right wing. St. Giles

The hermit of the seventh century, Giles is portrayed praying in the cave. He is the patron Saint of beggars and cripples, as well as a deliverer from the "black death" (plague). If a constant companion Jerome was a lion, a living creature-the companion of Sant'egidio was the DOE, which Bosch depicted at the feet of the Saint. Hunters-the Visigoths wanted to kill a deer, but, according to legend, Giles caught her by ourselves, so it is sticking out of your chest with an arrow.

"What power of self-denial is our lives of the Holy fathers, retired to the hermitages! delightedly wrote Thomas a Kempis. – What a long and painful temptations they had to fight! How often overcame them the devil! It's hot and they prayed much to the Lord!.. How large and hot was their zeal to improve his spirit." A senior member of the religious Brotherhood of our lady of Jerome van aken, who took the pseudonym Bosch, in the triptych "Holy hermits" fully shares this admiration before the German mystic monk feat.

Author: Anna Yesterday