Hiëronymus Bosch was painting terrifying yet strangely likeable monsters, often with a touch of humour, long before computer games were invented. His works are assertive statements about the mental illness that befalls any man who abandons the teachings of Christ. With a life that spanned the years from 1450 to 1516, Bosch was born at the height of the Renaissance and witnessed its religious wars. Medieval traditions and values were crumbling, paving the way to thrust man into a new universe where faith had lost its power and much of its magic. Bosch set out to warn doubters of the perils awaiting all and any who lost their faith in God. His favourite allegories were hell, heaven, and lust. He held that everyone had to choose between one of two options: either heaven or hell. Bosch brilliantly exploited the symbolism of a wide range of fruits and plants to lend sexual overtones to his themes, which author Virginia Pitts Rembert meticulously deciphers to provide readers with new insight into this fascinating artist and his works.
Virginia Pitts Rembert is Professor Emeritus and holds the Chair of History at the University of Alabama. She is an established authority on 15th- and 20th-century painting who strikes fascinating parallels between, say, Bosch and Mondrian at the lectern and in literature. Parkstone International already has the honour of publishing Dr Rembert's Mondrian in the USA.
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