I was drawn to the Northern Renaissance painting “Christ in Lambo” by Hieronymus Bosch. This oil painting was created in about 1575, probably in the Netherlands . The painting represents how Bosch thought of Hell. It tells a story about how Christ went into Limbo “to rescue the souls of the righteous who lived before his time” . People who were in this hellish area were in the in-between state of Heaven and Hell that was set before Christ was born. Non believers soon began to ask: “Whence is he, so strong, so terrible, so splendid, so noble? . . . Who then is this, who comes to our gates so boldly, and not only has no fear of our torments but also frees others from our chains?”- Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, about 1260 .
Bosch has many works of art that dealt with hell. Another famous piece is “The Seven Deadly Sins and the Last Four Things” which was created around 1500 in Madrid. This piece represents the seven sins that man can do to go to Hell: wrath, greed, envy, gluttony, sloth, lust, and pride . Around the “sin” wheel, there is four outer circles that detail the death of the sinner, Judgment, Hell and Glory . In the middle of the “sin” wheel is the eye of Christ. Bosch painted about Heaven and Hell, saints, hermits, the Passion of Christ, sin and punishment.
Bosch’s art work was far from the Humanistic movement that was going on during this time. Other artist of Renaissance era celebrated the human body and their perfections. Humans were posed as beauty creatures. Bosch did quiet the opposite. He painted people in mutated states, with demon and beastly like figures.
Bosch has a unique style of painting. He took a step out from the norm. I think that this is why I enjoy his work the most. He was definitely not a normal painter. During his time, most artist would paint about happy, religious things. Most painted about the good that happened after death but Bosch painted these demented things to demonstrate that you will have to pay for your sins during the after life. His paintings were not cheery. In fact, there were about evil spirits of the Middle Ages, and witchcraft. Although they were not the paintings of the era they sure were interesting and caught the eye of many people, including myself.