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Thursday, February 21, 2013

21 February 2013

A picture speaks a thousand words - surely a painting does too?
Well, this one certainly does.

Today's Daily Quota is Bosch's famous The Garden of Earthly Delights.
This painting is incredibly chaotic - so much so, in fact, that you'll be quite thankful of the enormity of the image itself.

Historians and artsy-fartsy-folk are divided as to Bosch's intentions for the piece. On face value, it seems to contain the three possible stages of existence - the left panel being life on Earth, the middle being heaven, and the right being hell.
Alternatively, the left (and middle) has been seen as purgatory - a noteworthy hypothesis given Dante's Inferno having been published (narrowly) a century or two prior.

Another theory is that the panels depict a progressive 'paradise lost', in that each stage shows Man's degeneration of His own existence.
It starts off as bliss and simplicity in the Garden of Eden, it eventually degenerates into an orgy, each individual indulging in excess, some carrying others as they do so. This is perhaps Free Will at play - and the abuse of it.
Finally, Paradise is most definitely lost as we descend into a world that is suffering from its former excesses. Monstrosities have overrun the human race and have enslaved them in a perpetual Hell. Poor fellas.
Take life in moderation, lest ye too end up in the final panel.

I really like the third theory. It seems to present an omen against excess, lest we suffer today for our sins of yesterday.
A truly amazing piece. I could (and have) sat there for long periods of time just admiring the detail, the faces, the pleasure and the suffering.
Enjoy, folks.


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