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The Garden of Earthly Delights

Monday, 16 January 2017

Regarding art, I try to be as open minded as possible. But even though I've spent three years studying medieval art - it was compulsory, don't get me wrong - I've never been able to enjoy any of the art work from this period. I guess it is simply because when you have studied Raphael and Nicolas Poussin you cannot go back to this and enjoy the way they didn't know how to represent a face with the right dimension. Ok, maybe I'm being a little too critical. They are of course some master pieces and important artists from this period, but well, it is just not my thing. However, last Summer while I was in a library in Geneva with my boyfriend, he stumbled upon a book compelling all of the details from the well-known tryptic The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch. Of course as a student in Art History I've studied this artwork, simply because it is weird and so pretty interesting. Nevertheless, I've never been able to enjoy it and basically I just learned the dates and some highlights about it to pass my exam. 

Yet my boyfriend found himself really interested in this book, and so since I knew some things about this tryptic I started explaining it to him. He was more and more interested, and basically enjoyed every details. And so, for the first time, I really looked at it. I saw what he was seeing. How dark and weird it was, and so how enjoyable it is to watch every detail. He never really found himself interested in visual art, but when I saw him enjoying Hieronymus Bosch's work so badly I thought, "he is smart, he is sensitive, there is something to take out of this weird painting". So I looked back at my courses, read them again, did some researches, and well, I still don't like medieval art, but honestly, this tryptic fascinates me and luckily I've got someone to talk about it with. Maybe sometimes what is interesting is not the art work itself. Maybe sometimes it is the person you talk about it with who makes it interesting.



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