Sally Porter's Web Log
Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights - The Paradise Panel 
Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 08:53 AM - General
Posted by Administrator
The left panel of Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, painted in 1503 - 1504, is titled Paradise or Eden. This one work is comprised of multiple masterpieces.

In the lower portion of the painting, you have an incarnation of God, fully clothed, standing in a lovely green meadow, flanked on either side by his very pale, grown children, Adam and Eve. In the forefront is a pond of amazing creatures emerging from a dark pond, including a triple headed bird, a fish with wings, and a duck wearing a monk’s hood reading his prayer book. Was Bosch having a visionary precognition of the theory of evolution?

In the middle area of the painting is a pale pink, very futuristic looking fountain arising from the middle of a second pond. A light gray giraffe and an elephant stand out as two of the larger animals in this mostly peaceful depiction of nature. Looking closer, we see a rather small lion devouring an antelope in the background, but there is no blood or carnage depicted here; the lion is merely having his supper.

The fountain area leads into another body of water to the left. What do we find drinking at the water’s edge amongst other horned friends? It’s none other than a white unicorn, sipping at the blue water and leisurely snapping her tail.

In the uppermost, left passage, sits a yellow mountain in front of a small blue mountain range. From the cave of this yellow mountain, a flock of birds comes rushing out. They swirl up and through a sculpture on top of the cave, which in turn is topped by two tall, pointed towers of rock. Their silhouette brings to mind the Empire State building and the Manhattan skyline.

Bosch blended iconic cultural images with images from nature and his creative consciousness to give us a timeless painting full of fascination and leaves us admiring this visual representation of the self.

Sally Porter

Sally Porter Gallery
www.sallyportergallery.com

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