I will start out by warning the audience of what is to come. This has to be the most twisted and neurotic piece of artwork I have ever seen or will ever see. As perverse as it may be, I CANT stop staring at it! So be warned! You too will be mesmerized into paralysis until you ensure yourself of the inevitability of not ever deciphering what you are looking at.
The painting above is a work from Hieronymus Bosch named “The Garden of Earthly Delight”. It is a triptych made of oil paint and oak and can be found in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Just at first glance, chaos fills the brain. There is no focal point or concrete chronological order; it is a blur of emotion and color. Honestly there is so much happening in the painting that if I decided to analyze every bit and piece I might as well send my final paper in as a dissertation for a doctorate degree. For now, I will only section a few ideas into vision for discussion.
The front of the work is almost never presented. My guess is because its just not as flashy as what lies beneath and the caretakers of the museum don’t want to hear a bunch of whiney tourists complain about not being able to see chaos at its finest. The outer layer is a globe-like structure of what appears to be earth or an earthly realm depicted in monotonous color (My assumption might be off because I am colorblind). I would honestly be one of the whiney tourists wanting to see the inside; the outside just isn’t that interesting.
Now we are talking! What in all that is holy on Gods green earth am I looking at? I tried to look up what the professionals think is going on but judging by how far apart their responses are, they might be in the same boat. I will list some of their responses below so the audience can decide on their own. The rest of the section will be my take on the painting, and I apologize in advanced if my somewhat virgin and surface level critique for art isn’t developed as most.
Form the worldly knowledge of a young college student; I have been able to break the triptych into three parts, hence… triptych. The far left piece is the earthly realm when Adam and Eve were delivered to it. They seem to be standing with Jesus, which is chronologically way off but he might serve to represent God in the flesh form. Jesus is the seed of God and therefore a part of him. The middle piece is the earthly realm filled with all of its “delights”. This section is the biggest and has the most going on, mainly a horde of people dancing, gallivanting, and having a grand time. There are a lot of dramatized fruits in the picture, maybe symbolizing the fruits of life? This realm resembles extreme indulgence, almost to the point of over indulgence. The third piece serves as a direct contrast to the delights of the earth realm. Tormenting figures of perverse and gruesome figures jump out at you from the depths of the darkness and latch to your conscious. This realm seems to be very hellacious. With a closer look the audience can see a tree-man-house-hat figure looking into your very soul and judging the depths of you conscious. Below him is a man being sodomized by a long rod, probably not his best day.
Raqib Shaw's Queer Garden of Earthly Delights
Pasted Art work