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Copy by Michel Mancini of the Garden of Delights from Hieronymus Bosch
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Biography and works of Joaquim Patinir (1480-1524)
Landscape with Charon Crossing the Styx by Joaquim Patinir
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Joachim Patinir was born near 1480 in Dinant in Britany or Bouvignes in Belgium.

He died on October 5th 1524 in Antwerp.

He is also known as Patinier or Patiner.

He was a painter and draughtsman of the Renaissance Flemish school.

He has been a member of the association of painters of Antwerp.

Specialized in landscapes and very influenced by Hieronymus Bosch, Patinir achieved works where fantastic elements, forests, imaginary climes, towns and rivers.


Patinir worked with Quentin Matsys who became his children's tutor after his death.

In 2007, an exhibition dedicated to Patinir took place at the Prado Museum in Madrid.

In his painting Landscape with Charon Crossing the Styx (see above), Patinir depicts the classical subject related by Virgil in his Aeneid and Dante in the Inferno.

The larger figure in the boat is Charon, who ferries the souls of the dead to the gates of Hades god of death in the antic Greece.

The passenger in the boat, too minute to distinguish his expressions, is a human soul deciding between Heaven, to his right (the viewer's left), or Hell, to his left.

The river Styx divides the painting down the center.

It is one of the four rivers of the underworld that passes through the deepest part of hell.

On the painting's left side is the fountain of Paradise, the spring from which the river Lethe flows through Heaven.

On the right side of the composition is Patinir's vision of Hell, drawing largely on Boschian influences. He adapts a description of Hades, in which, according to the Greek writer Pausanias, one of the gates was located at the southern end of the Peloponnesus, in an inlet still visible on the Cape Matapan.

In front of the gates is Cerberus, a three-headed dog, who guards the entrance of the gate and frightens all the potential souls who enter into Hades.

The soul in the boat ultimately chooses his destiny by looking toward Hell and ignoring the angel on the river-bank in Paradise that beckons him to the more difficult path to Heaven.


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Joaquim Patinir Joaquim Patinir Patinier Charon Crossing the Styx Charon Crossing Styx Flemish school Dutch school Flemish school Dutch gothic style painting painting reproductions paintings copies copy reproduction reproductions Michel Mancini master old masters to order commission commissions oil on canvas oil canvas virtual gallery gallery painter fantastic painting surrealist painting surrealism fifteenth century Renaissance
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