News from the Sparlock Multiverse

The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch

The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch is mentioned several times in the first book of the Sparlock Trilogy. This work of art is a triptych. It is painted on a set of connected panels that can be displayed either open or closed. The outer panels depict a somber greenish-gray scene. A flat earth, covered with vegetation, is enveloped by a transparent sphere. It appears to depict the third creative day from Genesis.

Exterior Panels of The Garden of Earthly Delights
The Garden of Earlthy Delights Outer Panels

The interior panels are very different. The left panel shows God presenting Eve to Adam in the Garden of Eden. The larger middle panel is filled with an abundance of nude figures, plants, and animals in a garden setting. The right panel depicts a hellscape, complete with a variety of torments associated with damnation.

Interior Panels of The Garden of Earthly Delights
The Garden of Earthly Delights inner panels

Back in 2008, I was invited to compose a piece for a bassoon concert in Angoulême, France. Each piece would be based on a painting by Hieronymus Bosch. I chose the outer panels of The Garden of Earthly Delights and composed a short trio for bassoon, cello and piano. Here is a video with a computerized rendition of that piece.

Impressions on a Painting by Bosch

This painting made an impression on me during the years that followed. When I was doing research for my novel The Great Apocalypse, I noticed that the painting matched some of the themes I was trying to develop. It didn’t take long before I found a way to include it in the story.

3 Responses to The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch

  1. This looks so inspiring for a spiritual based story. There are so many plot bunnies. I love the details and the three different worlds that the picture above represents. There’s no way you would think the inside panel was hiding in the middle of all of that. Just beautiful!

  2. This is one of my favourite thing – every time I look at it, I see something new. I think Bosch was a bit disturbed, but then most great artists are.

  3. This is really interesting stuff. I’m fascinated by the stories of the bible. I grew up catholic and read the whole bible and was taught that everything happened verbatim. Yet, when you actually have an artist create what he thinks that would look like, it’s nuts! Really cool stuff!

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