At the centre
of this part, around a orange tent, we find a group of several personages the
most remarkable of whom are a man carrying an enormous fish and an other with
flowers in his anus.
More on the right and toward the bottom, we find
an other tent yellow on its base and becoming blue in its upper part and surmounted
by two eggs put in equilibrium one upon the other. In front of this tent, there
is a group of five persons, one of them of black race.
At the left of
this group, we have a small group around a gigantic strawberry and an other fruit
which let escape multicoloured marbles.
On the right top of this part,
there is a group of dancers.
Immediately below, we find the only clothed
person of the whole panel. Clearly, this personage look towards the exterior,
creating so a close relationship with the spectator. He is showing by his
forefinger a woman half lying, who seems to be Eve. Behind the clothed man,
the figure of a third personage appears through a transparent vase. Several
theories exist about the identity of the clothed personage.
Bax thinks that he is Adam and that the man whose face appears behind him, coming
from a cave shaped as a burrow, would be Noa announcing a new era after the Flood.
Mateo has an other theory. The clothed man would be John the Baptist
who is always represented with a brown frayed skin cloth and showing something,
God's Lamb usually.
However, here, Hieronymus Bosch will surprise us
The Baptist does not appear to designate the Lamb of God who
removes the sins of the world, but Eve who brought them. The cave from which
John the Baptist is erupting would be the symbol of the entrance in the limb such
as it is described in the apocryphal Gospel by Nicodeme. So, John the Baptist
would be the bridge between the world before sin and the earthly world.
On another hand, there is an interesting work of Saint Augustine (Augustine of
Hippo) : Comments on Genesis against Manichaeans, in which this famed author
indicates that death is fixed in the skin tunic : " They should have covered
themselves with leafs and God gave them skin tunics, he covered them with the
mortality of this life." This signification is what let the scholars
think that, under this tunic, we find the original couple.
at the left bottom of this central panel, there is a man who is showing the previous
panel, and especially Eve, which has been interpreted as a clear accusation of
the woman to bed guilty of having given in to snake's temptation, committing the
sin for which the whole humankind would pay.
Misogyny existing at the
time when Hieronymus Bosch painted the Garden of Delights is well known.
Erasmus was speaking of the stupidity of the woman, explaining that she only useful
for providing pleasure to the man who also reaches stupidity when he seeks her.
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of Delights Garden of Delights Hieronymus Bosch Hieronymus Bosch triptych central
panel detail 7 nude naked male men female women penis ass strawberry cherry Prado
museum Prado museum Flemish school Dutch school Flemish Dutch Renaissance gothic
style surrealist painting surrealism fantastic painting erotic painting fifteenth
century sixteenth century virtual Gallery painting paintings copy copies reproduction
reproductions oil canvas Michel Mancini commission master old masters painter
copy on canvas of the triptych the Garden of Delights by Hieronymus van Aaken
known as Hieronymus Bosch at the Prado Museum in Madrid Oil copy on canvas of
the triptych the Garden of Delights by Hieronymus van Aaken known as Hieronymus
Bosch at the Prado Museum in Madrid Oil copy on canvas of the triptych the Garden
of Delights by Hieronymus van Aaken known as Hieronymus Bosch at the Prado Museum