varitia (avarice) and Invidia (envy). At the corners of the painting there are four other miniatures represented Death, The Last Judgement, Hell and Heaven. There are two sentences from Bible at the top and bottom of the painting. There are no allegories on this painting, everything is concrete, taken from life. Bosch depicted people of different sections of population, but all of them are sinners. The main idea of this painting that our blood and our money is nothing for God. Every person will be on the last Judgement and if he is sinner he will be send to Hell.
Ira on this miniature we can see the scrimmage of two drunk peasants. Ira is the result of the alcoholism. A woman try to stop them, but without any result. Bosch depicted the sin with the help of such symbols as kicked off wooden shoes, a chair on the head of one man and others, but most of all with the help of grotesque. The figures of peasants are awful and ugly, they are very fat with crooked legs. The beautiful nature is also served to show their unpleasantness.
Superbia we can see a woman in her room, staying in front of the mirror (the symbol of temptation), which is kept by the devil. The woman trying on a new hat. The room is painted in the style of Boschs time and it is look like many others rooms in the Holland houses. This picture is pointed against the interest off many women in the fashion.
Luscuria on this part of painting there are man and woman in the tabernacle. We can see musical instruments on the ground they symbolize passion.
Accidia the lazy priest is sleeping, instead of prey. A cat on the floor is sleeping too.
Guia the picture show us the scene of diner. I think it is the most terrible picture because the food is given by nun. All characters are awful and ugly. They look like animals, not people. One man is very fat while the other is thin. They are very dirty.
Avaritia in this picture we can see how the bribed judge is going to accuse of the innocent man. The book on the wooden box is like a dig under the justice.
Invidia on this picture Bosch show us quarrel between the neighbors. And their dogs like their masters bark at each other.
Other four pictures show to us what will happened to us. First it is a fragment of death. It is the death of a reach man. The priest gives him absolution. There is a skeleton behind the dying man. And above his head the angel and the demon are fighting for his soul.
The next picture represent Doomsday. It is painted in the traditional way. The Christ is seating on the throne with many angels around him. And reveal people are below him, on the Earth. The Heaven is painted in a traditional manner too. St Peter and other angels meet saintly people near the gates of Heaven.
On this painting Bosch depicted Hell for the first time. This picture is the key to other Boschs paintings of Hell because Bosch wrote an explanation under every torture. For the sin of ire people are crucified. Avid people siting in the fleshpot with a molten golden coins. Voluptuous people are enchained to the bed and a terrible monster bite them. Drank people are drinking dishwater. Bosch took some of the elements of tortures from the book “Visions of Tundhall” about his vision of Hell. It was very popular book in Boschs times.
Bosch use very bright, full colors in this painting. They became dark and gloomy only in 2 parts of painting, devoted to Death and Hell. There is a normal perspective in this picture. Most lines are geometrical and straight. The painter doesnt use lots of shades. The point of attention is at the center of the picture on the Christs figure. We can see balance and also harmony in this painting.
The main idea of the paintings “Seven deadly sins” is that all people are the same in Gods eyes. And He knew all our deeds and our sins. Every person, reach or poor will die and then come to the Last Judgement. No one will help you besides God. The painting is circular to show us that the sins are the same in every next generation. It is a symbol of the circle of sins, symbol of our Earth, of our University.
I think it is a very meditative painting, that make us thinking. May be because of that Philip the Second hung it in his tabernacle.
The second period of Boschs work: Garden of Delights
Bosch painted “the Garden of Delights” in 1500 1510. It is also oil painting. The size of the central part the painting is 220 x 195, the size of each fold is 200 x 97. Now it is situated in Madrid, in Prado.
The painting is full of little figures and it is very colorful. Its look like a wonderful carpet. The figures of people are dancing in a colorful roundelay. All colors are light, spring and soft. The bright light is overflow the scene.
The painting is very harmonic. It has a normal perspective. Most lines are curved and natural. Its very hard to find the point of attention because of the lots of objects on the painting but I think it is at the one of fantastic building at the center of the painting.
At the outer part of the folds there is the third day of the Creation. There are 2 sentences at the top of the painting “Jpse dixit et facta su[n]t” (He said and its appeared) and “Jpse mandavit et create su[n]t” (He said and create). In the center in the crystal sphere appears the first mineral and vegetal life.
The Heaven as usual is painted on the left fold. The first man and all animals have been already created. The heaven is full of different and sometimes fantastic animals: elephants and giraffes are pasture with unicorns, birds with three heads and fishes with wings. The cactus behind Adam is the symbol of Life Tree, the palm is the tree of the Evil and Good. God begins to create Eve. With her creation the evil and sin came. Animals begin to eat each others and in a fountain settled an owl the symbol of evil. This fountain that look like bright globe with a half-crystals half-plants on it and a half-moon on the top is the symbol of heresy. The center of it is the center off the all fold. It correspond with a figure of human-tree-egg in the Hell. At the same manner the figure of God the Maker correspond with the figure of Devil who eat the sinners. So the folds are symbolized Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the End of the world.
The Hell on the right fold is painted in a dark colors. Some researchers think that black, red and white colours are the symbols of different stadies of boiling mercury. It is the world of iсe and fire. Bosch took some episodes from the book “The visions of Tundhall“. Another sources where Bosch could took his images are the book “Ars morendi” (1488) and “The big calendar of cattlemen” (1493). The painting “Seven deadly sins” can also help to understand this part of painting. The group near the Satans throne are the vanity. The man who are crucified on the table is the bowler. We also can see a man who conclude a treaty with devil. The gigantic ear with an arrow in it is a symbol of the disaster. S. De Tolnay said that Hell is Boschs nightmare. It is very interesting fact that we can see a self-portrait of Bosch here, as a face of human-tree-egg. V. Fenger thinks that Hell is the place where rebirth of our world begen. It happened with the help of two musical instruments harp, lute and pipes. But other researchers think that this instruments are the symbols of evil. V. Frenger interpret them as a memory of Heaven. He also said that the village, fire, mill and flood are the symbols of four elements.
The central part of the painting is our world that is full of sins and evil. At the center of the painting there is a chain of people around the spring of youth. G. Kombe interpret it as a alchemic motive of eternal youth. In the spring there are women with a ravens on their heads and it symbolized the heresy. The peacocks symbolized vanity, ibises the past joy, different animals in the cavalcade are the symbols of salacity and other carnal sins. There are lots of symbols of male and female origins such as half-moons, horns, cones, cylinders, spheres, etc. which are the alchemic symbols at the same time. The fruits and berries are the symbols of salacity and carnal love. The man who are carrying the shell with two lovers are the deceived husband. Lots of spheres at different parts of the painting is the symbols of the sins and vises and also the symbols of our world, full of sins. Behind the bright colour and lots of light there are sins and evil. And the colour also have its meaning. In alchemy red means creation and blue was the colour of illusions.
It is the most mysterious and enigmatic Boschs work. The meaning of the painting all in all and its symbols are the reason for numerous debates. The first explanation of this painting was made in 1605 by a priest, Jose de Siguensa. He wrote in a book of order of St. Hieronymus that on the painting we can see the appearance of the sin in the Heaven, the evolution of the sin in our world and the punishment in the Hell. However V. Fenger think that the painting is more optimistic and it symbolized the depuration by the fire and ice in the Hell, than in the purgatory (the central part of triptych) and than came to felicity in Heaven. Most of researchers refuse the theory of Fender.
People of all epochs invented lots of theories, sometimes fantastic and impossible about the meaning of Boschs paintings and I think that lots of theories will be created later but no one can prove it and nobody can find out which theory is right and which is not. Boschs pictures will stay for us as a mystery forev