Essay about Hieronymus Bosch Symbolic Interpretations of his art

Submitted By reffshawna
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Hieronymus Bosch Symbolic Interpretations of his art
Shawna Reff
November 26, 2013
Loretta De Grandis
Our world population is more educated than ever in known history. We have many resources of education; we can all read and write, and are fluent in linguistic skills. This was not true in the middle ages when Hieronymus Bosch was a popular artist. During the middle ages, most people were illiterate; therefore, they relied on visual mediums for education purposes much more frequently than today. The use of iconographic elements and colors helped transfer ideas and the formulation of thought. This paper briefly will touch upon some psychological interpretations and symbolism of Bosch’s work. We know Hieronymus Bosch was born in the 1450’s in Duchy Brabant, Burgundian Netherlands; and died August 9, 1516 in Duchy Branbant, Habsburg Netherlands. During this time, most Duchy of Brabant was still a Catholic state. After being married to a wealthy woman around the age of 25, Bosch became a member of the Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady. These memberships were reserved for the “noble and powerful” believers of the Catholic Church. Although we do not know much about the life of Hieronymus Bosch, we can assume that his work is a reflection of his time. Since most Christians were illiterate during this time, it was Bosch’s responsibility as a religious painter to convey the messages of the central doctrines of Catholicism visually. Although most his paintings were controversial, his painting; Seven Deadly Sins, is a great demonstration of how people relied on artwork for education purposes.
The Seven Deadly Sins is a series a of several circler images. The center is an eye, which is surrounded by the seven deadly sins which include; gluttony, sloth, lust, pride, wrath, envy, and greed. The painting demonstrates each sin as daily activities for the figures who are committing the sins. This probably related to many people of this time, making it his most one of Bosch’s most famous paintings.
The “Four Last Things” are the circular images on each corner of the rectangular painting. The “Four Last Things” represent a “The Death of a Sinner”, “Judgment”, “and Glory” (heaven), and “Hell.” The eye in the center of the painting is very interesting. A figure appears in the pupil, whom is interpreted as Christ, and the eye itself is interpreted as the all seeing eye of god. God see is all and knows all sins. In its entirety, the Seven Deadly Sins serves as a warning to avoid committing sin, but also as an education resource for those who would not read the bible for themselves. In this painting, he depicts all seven deadly sins, but he digs deeper and focuses more on each sin by itself such as gluttony.
The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch Adam and Eve is a very colorful and delightful image of before time Adam and eve and Jesus are surrounded by trees, water, and grass and also Eve is holding Jesus left hand as Adam glares at Jesus in somewhat pink robe naturally Adam and Eve are not clothed but seem very comfortable in their surroundings the sky is blue and the mountains even appear to be blue. A pretty pink fountain shaped bird is surrounded by water but it appears that the fountain is sitting on a bed of black rocks the animals which include birds, giraffe, elephant, deer all seem to have no care in the world the instinct of wan animal is to attack for food but they all seem to be happy eating the green and yellow meadow grass that flourishes around water. In addition, it appears in the left top corner of Hieronymus Bosch’s artwork is tall fish head with bees swarming through his eyes and belly and the fish has a green mouth. Gluttony is defined by excessively eating and drinking. In the Christian church gluttony is considered as selfishness and greedy. This is why it is considered one of the seven deadly sins. Some people believed as punishment for those who commit gluttony they will be