Even his contemporaries found the work of the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) difficult to 'decode'- and it still presents riddles to art historians today.
Although rooted in the Old Dutch tradition, Bosch developed a highly subjective, richly suggestive formal language. With a mixture of religious humility and satanic wit, he illustrated both the joys of heaven and the cruelly imaginative tortures of hell.
In his pictorial world teeming with surrealistic nightmares, the medieval imagination catches fire in a moment of final brilliance before succumbing to humanism and modern rationalism.
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