4 Answers

  1. No, Hieronymus Bosch wasn't hallucinating. His work is covered in great detail in the BBC documentary Riddles of the Masters. In a nutshell, Bosch, his father, and grandfather are not artists in our modern sense, but skilled artisans. The Boshis were members of a narrow Christian community whose cornerstone was to intimidate believers with sin and hell. Bosch received orders that matched his location and time. Everything we see in his works was common in his community. I advise everyone to watch the movie

  2. No one knows for sure.Bosch lived at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. There were no psychoanalysts at that time, Bosch left no diaries behind, and there is little evidence of his work from the 16th and 17th centuries. Those that exist describe the characters of his works as “evil spirits”, pay attention to strange animals and plants. Bosch's work began to be thoroughly studied only in modern times – within the framework of surrealism and the theory of�Z.Freudian artists who claim that the paintings reflect the artist's deep unconscious. There is an opinion that such “devilry”, non-existent animals, pictures of “hell”could only be created by a paranoid mind.

    Many of the symbols in his paintings, both “alchemical and religious,” as well as those adopted in the Medieval period, ” have now lost their meaning. Bosch's paintings often depict owls. It is unlikely that in his works this is a symbol of wisdom, most likely, owls represent lust or are harbingers of misfortune. This can be inferred from the context.

    For the 15th century, Bosch's work is unique, his style is recognizable. In a way, Bosch is an innovator. However, it is difficult to talk about what is depicted as the fruit of hallucinations and visions. Impressionable, nervous people can actually have visions caused by strong emotions, fear of “death” and “hell”, the last judgment. But all this is nothing more than speculation.

    Below is the triptych “Garden of Earthly Delights”, on the left – paradise, in the middle – earthly life, on the right – hell. In heaven – an elephant and a strange giraffe, in hell-a whale and musical instruments.

  3. Life in the XV-XVI centuries was very different from our life. It is unlikely that Bosch sat alone in a studio with all the comforts, experiencing hallucinations and transferring them to his canvas. Bosch was a good and pious burgher who had successfully married a rich woman and probably had a whole staff of servants who could tell if the owner was suffering from something like hallucinations. Bosch had lived in the heyday of the Inquisition. And, not surprisingly now, he was not considered a heretic either in life or after death. He received commissions from both churches and high-ranking socialites. There is no doubt that the meaning of his paintings, now inaccessible to us, was clear to his contemporaries. There is an opinion that he transferred a certain text to the canvas – perhaps proverbs, and, most likely, his paintings have more “secular” meaning than Christian.

    Bosch also came from a family of artists – his grandfather, uncles, and father were all artists. He had all the opportunities to master an artistic craft, including drawing from the imagination. (If you go from simple to complex, then drawing from nature – drawing from memory – drawing from imagination). Why did his imagination produce such images? Bosch lived in a difficult time-he is a contemporary of Michelangelo, lived in the Renaissance. This is a time when the entire millennial heritage of Christianity was rejected, its place was taken by everything that had been forbidden for many centuries. On the other hand, the Inquisition was rampant, and thousands of people were burned at the stake. The indulgence trade was in full swing. Sinking morals, debauchery, and greed – that's what Bosch saw and drew in his paintings.

  4. Bosch wasn't sick, no matter what he pretended to be.They say that as a child he witnessed a large fire and this terrible flame he remembered and displayed.

    But seriously, the merit of Bosch is that he transferred from medieval manuscripts and images of all the monsters and all the horrors upgrading them.Therefore, he did not invent and hallucinate all these monsters and horrors,they were just a skillfully used and forgotten medieval “bestiary”.

    We should also not forget the purpose for which he did this.He portrayed such terrible suffering in order to evoke the viewer's fear of hell and thus call him to religion and a righteous life.

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