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Wright 1 Jeffery L Wright Humanities 540 Professor Pat Gamon 23 February 2005 The Nature of The Garden of Earthly Delights 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 Dixons article on Boschs The Garden of Earthly Delights advocates that this painting was primarily influenced by alchemy Laurinda S Dixon provides and interesting argument for her thesis She believes that Boschs painting fits comfortable into fifteenth century definition of alchemy Furthermore she also contends that it is reasonable to suggest that Boschs 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 with 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 Wright 2 Rosicrucianism a philosophy that appropriated some of the mystical elements of alchemy but none of the practical ones 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 Varagines Golden Legend bestiaries mystery plays and writings of the mystics Flemish proverbs
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