Is Earth between heaven and hell ... where good and evil exist together?
We can look for clues in these other pictures painted by Bosh, where religion is more centre stage. When Bosh painted religious art, like many others renaissance artists, he placed religion within the humble textures of everyday life. The ordinary and the marvelous painted with amazing beauty.
|Prado Epiphany Triptych (central panel)|
But in the same picture, there is a creeping sense of evil ... and it is beautifully painted as well.
In the other religious picture, the Haywain, violent scenes go with sinister ... while presiding all the scenes, is Jesus infinite goodness above, and down below brute, hopeless badness - painted just as delicately as Jesus image.
Back to the The Garden of Earthly Delights, detail and beauty are the most distinct features of this painting. In art, beautiful does not mean the thing depicted, but they way anything is depicted is done, beautifully, whether is a disturbing thing or a divine thing.
The divine is absolute present on The Garden of Earthly Delights, fused with the earthly and the hellish by beauty.
When Bosh painted evil he looked for an inspiration in nature, Bosh painted unconventional demons.
In the Renaissance times, religion starts to be what art says it is ... and Bosh started a tradition, a tradition of art that says something, but something that only the artist knows.