Jeffery L. Wright
Professor Pat Gamon
23 February 2005
ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ The Nature of The Garden of Earthly Delights.
ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ Very little is known about the great artist
Hieronymus Bosch and even less about his painting The
Garden of Earthly Delights. Bosch has intrigued many art
historians for a number of reasons. First, many have been
unable to fit his life and his work into some sort of
understandable frame work. Second, his amazing imagery of
his most famous work The Garden of Earthly Delights has
fueled rumors of some connection with heretical sects.
Laurinda S. Dixon's' article on Bosch's The Garden of
Earthly Delights advocates that this painting was primarily
influenced by alchemy.
ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ Laurinda S. Dixon provides and interesting argument
for her thesis. She believes that Bosch's painting fits
comfortable into fifteenth century definition of alchemy.
Furthermore, she also contends that it is reasonable to
suggest that Bosch's and other fifteenth century
illustrators of scientific texts, being confronted with
turning words and concepts into pictures, reached the same
results but at different times.
To this end, it is
impossible to ignore the influence of sixteenth century
alchemical works by early authors that Bosch was familiar
In addition, she further speculates that the confusion
surrounding The Garden of Earthly Delights and its
relationship to alchemy lies in separating medieval alchemy
from Rosicrucianism, a philosophy that appropriated some of
the mystical elements of alchemy, but none of the
Dixon may have indeed been on the right track inferring
that Bosch was looking into alchemy as part of a structure
for his painting but some feel that her research is one
sided. In Art & Ideas William Fleming suggest that other
scholars have .... "ransacked the bible; lives of old the
old saints as told in Varagine's Golden Legend;...