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On the 500th anniversary of Hieronymus Bosch’s death, Fiona Macdonald picks out a few choice details from his most famous painting.

It’s not the most auspicious of song titles. ‘The Music Written on This Dude’s Butt’, however, has one of art’s most celebrated paintings as its inspiration. After looking closely at The Garden of Earthly Delights, student Amelia Hamrick decided to transcribe “music written upon the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens of the rightmost panel of the painting”. This particular denizen appears to have been crushed by a giant harp plunged into a lute, with an audience of nuns, monsters and a person wielding a flaming toad on a spear. Welcome to the mind of Hieronymus Bosch, who died 500 years ago.

The Early Netherlandish painter’s artwork (c. 1490-1510) is a vision of sin and morality: and the devil is in the detail. As the art critic Alastair Sooke wrote in BBC Culture, The Garden of Earthly Delights has been called ‘probably the most famous scene of the underworld in all Western art’. If hell is other people, Bosch’s version involves people cavorting with owls, strawberries – and derrières tattooed with musical scores.....

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Trailer for the new Documentary 'Jheronimus Bosch, Touched By the Devil'. The Full Documentary can be downloaded and rented here

Jheronimus Bosch, Touched by the Devil from Pieter van Huystee Film on Vimeo.

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You may also like to read:

*  The Largest Jheronimus Bosch Retrospective Ever Staged

*  On the Verge of Insanity - Van Gogh and his illness

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*  Astonishing Salvador Dalí Collaboration With Walt Disney Surfaces


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