There’s a stunning website dedicated to Hieronymus Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights,” one of the great (and enduringly popular) treasures of “Early Netherlandish” art. If you should check it out, you’ll be treated to a high-res image of the painting, Dolby-esque sound effects like snarling animals and lapping water, and an erudite series of audio clips explaining certain aspects of the painting, which you can take in sequence (as a tour) or investigate after your own fashion.
The real thing is at the Prado in Madrid.
The full painting, with little notes everywhere
The different areas of the massive triptych have titles like “The Mountain Landscape,” “The Circuit,” “City on Fire,” and “Tree Man.”
Here are the three favorite things I learned while screwing around with the website:
1. People of that time didn’t necessarily know what an elephant looked like.
2. The Dutch word for “birds” is basically the same as the Dutch word for “fucking.”
3. The bagpipe is a symbol of “sloth and idleness.”
Who knew? Scotland explained.