Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Little Devils

In my late teens, when I explored the European hostel circuit with a good friend, I visited several museums expressly to see particular Hieronymous Bosch works. Unfortunately, no matter how long you spend with a painting in a museum collection, the piece will not communicate with the deep resonance that a lived with work might.

But all is not lost! At last I can bring a bit of Boschian flavor into my home! Although they're too expensive to buy as a gag, these minatures do make me chuckle. Imagine presenting your grandmother with one of these tchotchkes!

At any rate, I found the site's description of Bosch's subject matter amusing. For years, I've listened to my father bemoan what he describes as the return of the Dark Ages. Perhaps he isn't far off the mark?
"Bosch places visionary images in a hostile world full of mysticism, with the conviction that the human being, due to its own stupidity and sinfulness has become prey to the devil himself. He holds a mirror to the world with his cerebral irony and magical symbolism, sparing no one. He aims his mocking arrows equally well at the hypocrisy of the clergy as the extravagance of the nobility and the immorality of the people."
Granted, we're not performing stone operations in 2005, but the parallels between the close of Bosch's 15th century and the beginning of our 21st century are remarkable.

Photo credit: Talaria Enterprises website

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