The Garden of Earthly Delights

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Jan 02, 2024

TAIPEI, TAIWAN, 02 January, 2024-Contemplating Hieronymus Bosch’s portrayal of Hell in ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights,’ I’m struck by the haunting resonance it bears with the ongoing conflicts in places like Ukraine and Gaza. Bosch’s nightmarish vision, with its tormented souls and chaotic landscapes, seems to transcend the boundaries of time and space, finding chilling parallels in the grim realities of today. The grotesque creatures and agonized figures within Bosch’s depiction of Hell take on an unsettling familiarity when juxtaposed with the harrowing scenes unfolding in contemporary war zones.


In places marked by conflict, such as Ukraine and Gaza, the notion of “Hell on earth” becomes an uncomfortable truth. The consequences of violence, displacement, and the toll on human lives echo the torment depicted by Bosch centuries ago. The power of art to reflect and amplify the shared human experience is poignantly evident, as the symbolism embedded in Bosch’s work transcends its historical context to speak directly to the ongoing challenges faced by individuals and communities today.


As we confront the stark realities of conflict zones, the connection between Bosch’s artistic vision and the contemporary world becomes a call to reflection and action. It prompts us to consider the enduring nature of human suffering and to recognize the collective responsibility in working towards a world where the nightmarish scenes of Hell, whether in a painting or on the global stage, might one day be replaced by a vision of peace and shared humanity.


Hieronymus Bosch,

‘The Garden of Earthly Delights,’ (Right Panel ‘Hell’)

c. 1490-1510

Oil on oak panels,

205.5 cm × 384.9 cm (81 in × 152 in)