Hieronymous Bosch images from artrenewal.org
Above is the left hand panel from a triptych now called the garden of good and evil, its original title is now lost. The sixties was very excited about Bosch, the idea was popular that he illustrated nicely the ideas of Freud. For the most part that idea has been soundly refuted, and he has come to be viewed as well with in the late medieval tradition.
Very little is known about Bosch other than that he lived from about 1450 to about 1515 in the Netherlands, which was in those days a possession of Spain. We know his father was a painter, although none of the fathers works remain. We do know that he was a member of a conservative religious organization called the Brotherhood of Our Lady.
Above the Death and the Miser.The imagery that seemed so surreal in the 60's was actually illustrations of sermons and concepts of the medieval church. The paintings are descriptions of hell and the dangers of earthly sins. It strikes me as somewhat amusing that a society that wouldn't have had a minute for a fire and brimstone speech, had such a fascination for what was essentially a painted version of the same thing. The paintings are full of bizarre and in many cases sexually unattractive (that's a nice way to put it ) images. I remember seeing posters of Bosches work in officers of college professors and others who wanted to appear smart., He was thought daring and "a difficult" artist.Without much interest in understanding the religious symbolism in the art or the ideas prevalent in the artists time it was hip to attribute to the paintings the ideas of contemporary psychology.
This painting is full of demons doing unpleasantries to their charges. There is a real nastiness to these demons and the message to the viewer is "straighten out, or this is ahead of you". The works of Bosch were often compared to a then living surrealist painter Salvador Dali. Here's one below.
Dali, a Spaniard, really did intend to illustrate the ideas of Freud. Later financial shenanigans with his estate and a general shift in interest away from Freudian ideas has somewhat diminished his popularity. There are some very impressive Dali paintings though, below is one.
I am going to return tomorrow and show several more artists who were big in the 60's. One you probably wont know but should really find exciting.