Bosch- The Last Judgment

The Last Judgment is a triptych by Hieronymus Bosch created sometime after 1482.

laatsteoordeel_bosch_grt

Many aspects of the humanism philosophy are found within The Last Judgment, by Bosch.  Humanism is the belief in the worth of the individual as studied by the Greeks.  It was a celebration of human achievement.  Humanism emphasized reason, physical beauty and spirit. According to http://www.dictionary.com, humanism is defined as “a variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.” Most noticeably, it seems as if everyone on earth is naked, where everyone in heaven is clothed.  Seeing as how humanism often rejects the importance in God, it somewhat elevates mankind above God.  Mankind’s body is beautiful enough to be clothed whereas those in heaven require robes.  Another approach shows a different light.  Humanism is the triumph of the human spirit.  Those on earth reveal their bodies just as their sins are revealed, their humanity is very evident.  However those in heaven are covered up and have become something more.
I really enjoy all the detail involved in this piece.  The first part on the left seems fairly lighthearted, except for the angel chasing Adam and Eve out of the garden.  The middle part is extremely violent.  In it dark creatures are reaking havoc upon humanity destroying everything, while those in heaven are praising God, rejoicing in their salvation.  On the left there is no heaven, only hell, in which the humans are being tortured.

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5 Responses to “Bosch- The Last Judgment”

  1. Heather Ciampa Says:

    I appreciate that you enjoy Bosch because I have a difficult time doing so myself. I understand the talent he displays but his style of painting and the manner in which he handled the subject matter does not appeal to me. The detail is indeed extraordinary. I would accuse it of being excessively morbid but I think that was what Bosch was going for so I suppose I should congratulate him on his success.

    I have read that Humanism is often misunderstood as being a philosophy that denies God when actually it is quite the opposite. Humanists believe that beauty and the arts are a sign of God existence and that the appreciation of such gets them closer to the Divine. The pursuit of perfect beauty was a spiritual pursuit for them. I think Secular Humanists are the ones who deny the Deity altogether. Do you agree with this?

  2. Trista Saunders Says:

    I like that you made the comment about the humans in Bosch’s paintings being naked, comparatively to those in heaven. I find this to be a total paradox; I feel like instead of the humans’ lack of clothing being attributed to them being higher than God, it is rather because because the thought at the time was that naked=indecent, and animalistic, and because humans are marked with sin, we are no better than animals, roaming with no clothes. Just a thought.

    I did not see any links to any supporting literature, though I might be missing it? It seems that you are lacking in supporting evidence for your thoughts on the meaning of the piece.

  3. fsant6 Says:

    For the fist blog assignment i chose to critique your choice of painting. I found it ironic that the painting was titled the last judgement but had a painting full of nude individuals which suggest a symbolic irony about the title. For me I could see the humanistic traits of the nude individuals in the paintings which could be defined as quoted “a variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.” I do agree with the quote “Mankind’s body is beautiful enough to be clothed whereas those in heaven require robes”. In addition the author of the blog did give a personal relationship with the painting which quoted by the blogger “The middle part is extremely violent. In it dark creatures are reaking havoc upon humanity destroying everything, while those in heaven are praising God, rejoicing in their salvation. On the left there is no heaven, only hell, in which the humans are being tortured.” I thought this whole ideology was captured metaphorically speaking which gives a derviative on the sections of the painting. There could have been more reference to convincingly connect the a pinting with the society and status of the artist and influences in the renassance movement. But overall the piece that was chosen directly shows the expression of the individual whom created this blog.

  4. myw33d Says:

    I enjoyed this students description of his response to Bosch’s painting. While the title and time are listed, the place is not and that is the only criteria he missed in his submission. His response to this work is aptly and colorfully described, as are the details he uses in describing his response. The influences of the Renaissance were clearly stated and easily substantiated.

    One particularly enjoyable part of his blog was his description of some of the detail he notices and enjoys,” …the angel chasing Adam and Eve.” His commentary caused me to pause and re-examine the piece more closely, in order to see the work through his eyes.

    His description of humanism was thorough and if I had not done any reading I would have had at least a small piece of understanding beyond the experience of just enjoying the painting.

  5. Heather Burns Says:

    I find it very interesting that you chose to write about Bosch. I chose to write about Donatello. They are similar in that they both chose to have “nude” individuals in there artwork however they are different. I find it interesting to read and understand where these Artists were coming from at this time in their life. Things were so different in these days. I think his work creates lots of diversity amongst the people, even within the class! Cause for a great debate! I like your take on the 3 different views in the pictures going from light- to more violent and then some.

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