Have you ever wondered how some people end up hooked on art? Is it a penchant for pretension? Is it the cocktail party conversation topics on the tip of your tongue?
I swear, all you have to do is have an expert walk you through one of history’s greatest masterpieces to fall in love.
If you’ve never had the experience (or the dim lighting in your Art History 101 class always put you to sleep), here’s your chance.
I’m absolutely loving this interactive virtual tour of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Delights, a triptych painting created in the late Middle Ages. It includes three panels: one with God creating Adam and Eve, one where everyone gets naked and all hell breaks loose, and one that actually depicts hell.
Bosch must have seen some pretty twisted shit during his lifetime, because this painting is totally trippy, especially the scenes in hell. It includes a human-eating (and -excreting) bird sitting on a potty chair; a giant set of ears with a massive, phallic knife between them; and butt music (seriously). There’s soooo much to this painting, so many little details that all have meaning, from elements of Bosch’s childhood to contemporary cultural perspectives on everything from race to sexuality to wealth.
This particular tour of the painting is by far the best I’ve seen, with amazingly high-resolution images, dramatic music, and British narration that reminds me of one of my favorite art history professors (he was the best!).
So tonight, after the kids are in bed, pour yourself a glass of wine, find your laptop, click HERE, and prepare to be stunned.
PS – If you’re interested in a modern, “queer-feminine” interpretation of Bosch’s work, Caitlin Rose Sweet has done some pretty interesting things with her installation called Snake in the Grass.