Hieronymus Bosch • Painting, 1500-th , 163.7×247 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Religious scene, Allegorical scene
Style of art: Northern Renaissance
Technique: Oil
Materials: Wood
Date of creation: 1500-th
Size: 163.7×247 cm
Artwork in selections: 78 selections

Description of the artwork «Judgment»

Triptych Of Hieronymus Bosch "The last judgment" stored at the Academy of fine arts in Vienna. It should not be confused with the same Board-a fragment attributed to the workshop of Hieronymus Bosch, from the Munich Old Pinakothek, as well as a triptych "The last judgment" from the groeninge Museum (Bruges), the authorship of which is disputed.

The turn of XV-XVI centuries in Europe, painted an apocalyptic mood. Engulfed in the feeling of the coming end times, people of the late middle Ages lived in anticipation of the end of the world and the last judgment, the inevitable retribution for a sinful life. It is known that in 1504, the year the Duke of Burgundy Philip I ordered a Beautiful altar triptych on the theme of the last judgment artist from den Bosch "Hieronymus van Aken, called Bosch". So for the first time in documents there is a alias "Bosch". Commissioned triptych of impressive size (274 to 335 cm) are not preserved. Some researchers suggest that the Vienna last judgement – reduced author's copy of the triptych, which was made for Philip the fair.

External doors

On the outer wings (1, 2) depicts the saints Jacob and Bavo, painted in grisaille technique in various shades of grey.

St. James with his staff, which secured his coat and hat, wanders in the background detail written out of the landscape. Jacob is associated with the wandering – it was his way of life, imitated by many pilgrims in the Middle ages. As boskhovskogo Wanderer with external shutters of the triptych "the hay", James is surrounded by danger. And yet he remains unharmed because of their faith.

Saint Bavon was the patron of Ghent. In the doorway to the right opens the view of the Flemish city. Bavo surround the sick and the poor, which he distributes alms.

Mysterious remains weak compatibility outer flaps: why on one of them the background is a landscape, and on the other the interior? Why fold with Saint Bavo arranged like was to serve not right and left fold – this is indicated by the shape of the arch? There is no satisfactory answer.

Under each leaf is the ornamental frame with the shape for the emblem. He could tell the audience, at whose request Bosch completed the triptych. But, unfortunately, the place is empty – the arms and nothing is written. According to some historians, it could mean that the customer died before the work was finished.

Left wing. Garden of Eden (Eden)

As in most other triptychs of Bosch, left wing given under the image of the garden of Eden. It is much less "crowded" than the Central and right panels, and, in comparison, seems rather unsophisticated. This gave grounds to some researchers to say that Edem, the artist writes quite indifferent whether it is sinful earthly life and particularly hell, here sophisticated imagination of Hieronymus Bosch, is where to turn!

Moving the gaze from the bottom up, we see in the left pane, only a few character groups. Down God holds the hand of the kneeling Eva. What Adam passively reclines nearby, indicates that he has recently experienced "the surgery" for the removal of the ribs, therefore, before us a scene of the creation of the first woman. A similar mise-EN-scene is in the same fold "The garden of earthly delights".

Bosch adheres to the medieval principle of simultaneity, i.e. simultaneous coexistence in the same space of events separated in time. So just above you can see Adam and eve at the Tree of knowledge of good and evil. The serpent, stretching out to the first people the fruit directly from the thick Apple of the crown, has an anthropomorphic appearance, which is also typical of medieval art, where snakes often besides endowed with female features.

Higher still an angry angel with a sword expels the sinners from Eden, but at the top of the left leaf and not be faint, and angels. God the Father in the glow of the light sits on the clouds, and the rebellious angels down from heaven to earth, who had soon after the act of Creation to turn from Paradise to the abode of sin, and in the process of falling turn into insects. By the way, a similar picture can be observed on the left part of another boskhovskogo triptych – "The hay."

All the small events leaf "garden of Eden" may seem to be performed by Bosch's quite "on duty" and no specific "highlights", but they are necessary to the artist as history. Going exhaustively to tell in the two neighboring leaves of how a variety of human sins and their punishment, Bosch is forced to say a few words about the primary source of this state of Affairs – the old Testament story of the fall of the first men and the apocryphal story about the downfall of the angels. After the expulsion of Adam and eve from Eden, the human race learns what temptation, sin and death. The retribution for sin is a topic that preoccupied Bosch more than anyone of his contemporaries.

Central panel. Judgment

Remember how it was customary to depict the last judgment to Bosch? The scene was supposed to be heaven; in the center of the composition – enthroned Christ flanked by trumpeting angels who came to judge the world and separate the "sheep from the goats", the righteous from the sinful. In the painting by Bosch (or his workshop) "The 7 deadly sins and 4 last things" Judgment is exactly what it looks – quite traditional.

But in the triptych "the last judgment", the spectator is confronted with bold innovation Bosch: heaven is given to only the top quarter of the panel, and the rest of the space is devoted to a detailed image of the earthly world and of human sin, misery and crimes, nightmarish vision of the agony of humanity perishing in the universal cataclysm.

Dark, wide panorama, dotted with human figures, is apparently yosafata valley, it was there, according to the Book of the prophet Joel, will occur the final judgment over people. In the background are reflections of the fires is burning the walls of the earthly Jerusalem.

The Central panel shows deep pessimism of Bosch: earthly world nor the character nor the colour are virtually indistinguishable from hell on the right wing, and a handful saved at the throne of Christ to be negligible in comparison with the number of those who are condemned to eternal torment.

According to the Bible, sinners will be punished by the overthrow of darkness external, "where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth". But Bosch foresaw the infernal pain is much more specific.

At the left edge of the wing, we see the Inn. On its roof, as if on the catwalk, walks in the direction of the man on the bed a naked woman surrounded by monsters. Her body bites an insect, it keeps the green dragon, demons Serenade on the lute and the horn that looks like a continuation of the beak. Music Bosch – a symbol of lust, weakness to the pleasures; it accompanies the sin of lust.
Below we see how Bosch treats the sin of gluttony: the demons were forced to remain fat and pour down his throat the liquid from large barrels, smooth filled with excrement of the devil, whose ass is peeking through the window bars.

Just below the big fish absorbs a little – a few decades brilliant engraving on this topic make Bruegel.

To the right of the Inn – figure hanged and boiling in the boilers. They simmer in the liquid metal from the melted coins amassed in a dishonest way. So Bosch represents the sin of greed.

Demonic frog in a red and white robe fry pan is part of the human body. At her feet is a pair of eggs – apparently, the toad is going to dinner omelet with human flesh. Next monsters are cut with knives and saws off pleasurable parts of human bodies.

Across the foreground are scattered naked bodies, cut, hurt, was plagued by demons. But all these horrors – not hell itself, but only the Preface.

Right wing. Hell

In the lower third the right wing pictured Lucifer in his tower. He appoints punishment for crimes committed by people. At the top, on the roof of the tower luciferous depicted those who managed to realize their sinfulness, they cry, scream and wring their hands. Behind them the burning landscape of Hell fire. It's like a parody of God's judgment with a Central sash with the difference that in the devil's court is no place for mercy. Bosch could repeat after Thomas a Kempis: "If love for God does not withhold you from sin, let them, at least, will keep the fear of hell!"

Author: Anna Yesterday