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[[quoteright:321:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Hieronymus-Bosch-Hell_1546.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:321: It sure is Hell around here...! ]]

'''Hieronymus Bosch''' (1450-1516) was a [[UsefulNotes/TheNetherlands Dutch]] [[TheMiddleAges medieval]] painter, best known for his colorful and grotesque depictions of {{Hell}}. He made several paintings about the subject and nobody has ever come close to his vivid and creepy visions of the place: Ugly [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demons]] torturing people in complete agony and scenes which predate {{Surrealism}} by five centuries. Most of these strange NightmareFuel scenes are the product of symbolism that might be clear and understandable to a (noble or monied, and certainly educated) viewer in Bosch's age, but now, centuries later, can be difficult to decipher. Bosch's paintings show mankind in all of his corruptness and meanspiritness, doomed to end up in Hell, while only a few chosen ones will be allowed in {{Heaven}}. Even the Church is not spared in his fatal vision. He was able to depict north-west European society during {{the Late Middle Ages}} in a scathingly satirical and memorable light, one that continues to inspire artists to this day.

Thomas Burnett Swann's early short story "The Painter" suggests an unlikely source of inspiration: Bosch is [[AlienAbduction abducted]] by [[EldritchAbomination hideous alien creatures]] who force him to paint them.

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%% ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them.
!!The art of Hieronymus Bosch provides examples of:
* AfterTheEnd: Bosch painted a very grim and fatalistic view.
%%* AlwaysNight
* AnachronismStew: Like many painters of that time Bosch also depicted events from Literature/TheBible in his own lifetime.
%%* AndIMustScream
* AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle: Bosch's paintings have one fundamental message: repent or you will definitely go to Hell.
* APartyAlsoKnownAsAnOrgy: The middle panel of "The Garden of Earthly Delights" shows numerous nude men and women enjoying a paradise full of erotic intercourse and symbolism.
%%* ApocalypseWow
* AuthorAvatar / CreatorCameo - The Tree Man, seen in the page image.
* Literature/TheBible: He painted Adam and Eva in Paradise ("The Garden Of Earthly Delights"), the Three Kings visiting Jesus ("Adoration Of The Magi"), Christ carrying the cross and being crowned with thorns, hermits, saints and martyrs ("Hermits Saints Triptych", "The Temptation of St. Anthony"), The Last Judgment and, of course, the most infamous depictions of Hell.
%%* BodyHorror
%%* {{Bizarrchitecture}}
* ChristianityIsCatholic: Although when he was painting, Catholicism was the only form of Christianity in Europe.
%%* ColdBloodedTorture
%%* CoolAndUnusualPunishment
* CorruptChurch: A common subject in his paintings:
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Haywain_Triptych "The Haywain Triptych"]] shows numerous people fighting to grab some hay from a large wagon. On the lower right side of the painting several nuns are collecting hay for a fat monk.
** In the painting "The Garden of Earthly Delights" a pig is seen with a nun's habit on its head.
* CrapsackWorld: Humanity seems to be doomed to go to hell.
** CrapsaccharineWorld - The middle panel of "The Garden Of Earthly Delights"
%%* DarkWorld
%%* TheDungAges
* EasterEgg: In 2014, it was discovered that one of the damned musicians in "The Garden Of Earthly Delights" has musical notation tattooed on his buttocks, and that, if performed, ''it actually forms a song''.
* FemmeFatale: They are often painted as well dressed women, with reptile tails.
%%* {{Gorn}}
* GrotesqueGallery: Consider [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_Carrying_the_Cross_(Bosch,_1515%E2%80%9316) his painting of Christ Carrying The Cross]].
* GrimReaper: Featured in his painting ''"Death And The Miser"''.
%%* {{Hellgate}}
%%* {{Homage}}
** A lot of songs by Dutch singer BoudewijnDeGroot reference Bosch's art, including ''"Het Land van Maas en Waal", "Eva", "De Tuin Der Lusten"'' en ''"Megaton"''.
** Characters in TheaBeckman's novel ''"Hasse Simonsdochter"'' visit him for one chapter.
** Scenes from Bosch's ''"Ecce Homo"'' and ''"Garden Of Earthly Delights"'' can be seen in {{Metallica}}'s music video for "Until It Sleeps".
** Scenes from Bosch's paintings can be seen in the music video "Spokes For The Wheel Of Torment" by {{Buckethead}}
** RobertCrumb once drew a parody of Bosch's ''"Christ Carrying The Cross"''.
** In TheSimpsons episode ''"Bart Gets Hit By A Car"'' Bart travels to Hell and sees the Hell panel of Bosch's ''"Garden Of Earthly Delights"''.
** The painting in the {{Nero}} album ''"De Totentrekkers"'' is actually a small detail of Bosch's ''"Christ Carrying The Cross"''.
** The protagonist detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch in MichaelConnelly's crime stories is a direct reference. In his novel ''"A Darkness More Than Night"'' Bosch's work even plays an important role in the story.
** In the film ''GoyasGhosts (2004)'' one of Napoleon's deputy's decides to leave Bosch's work behind in Madrid, because he feels it's ''"ugly"''.
** John Wojcik's surreal RPG ''{{Mortasheen}}'' features an entire class of monster known as the Devilbirds inspired by Bosch's many depictions of demons with birdlike features.
** Synonamess Botch, the villain in ''WesternAnimation/TwiceUponATime'', is named after him.
* HumansAreBastards: In Bosch's art the entire world seems to be evil or at least morally fallible, destined to suffer from eternal damnation in Hell.
* IronicHell: Especially present in the third panel of ''The Garden of Earthly Delights''. A notable example is the "musicians' Hell", which features musicians being impaled on the strings of their instruments.
* MedievalMorons: His painting ''"The Magician"'' shows spectators easily tricked by a magician, while his companion robs their money when they aren't paying attention.
* MyGodYouAreSerious: Many interpretations about Bosch's art suffer from insufficient knowledge about medieval society. For instance, his depictions of Hell weren't supposed to be entertaining fantasies: they are warning visions of what people actually feared Hell would be like!
%%* NightmareFace
%%* OurDemonsAreDifferent
%%* OurMonstersAreDifferent
* PhallicWeapon: On the Hell panel of "The Garden Of Earthly Delights" a huge knife can been seen with two ears on the side. It looks suspiciously like...FreudWasRight.
%%* ReligiousHorror
* RiddleForTheAges: Some scenes are still a mystery for art historians. Part of the problem is that in a few cases, we know that his images are literal depictions of contemporary metaphors (or cultural in-jokes), which means that some of the things we haven't figured out are just sayings that are otherwise unattributed.
* RollInTheHay: In the painting "The Hay Wain" a couple can be seen on top of the hay wain. The man is playing his instrument to seduce her.
%%* RuleOfSymbolism
* {{Satan}}: The devil with the oven in his belly on "The Last Judgment" [[http://www.flickr.com/photos/profzucker/7473590936/]]
* SceneryGorn and SceneryPorn: You will probably never get tired of watching for all of those gruesome details on Bosch's paintings.
* SelfInflictedHell: Suggested by ''The Garden of Earthly Delights'' and its [[IronicHell Ironic Hells]].
%%* SevenDeadlySins
* ShroudedInMyth: Historians know almost nothing about Bosch, except that he lived in 's-Hertogenbosch (nowadays in UsefulNotes/TheNetherlands). The real meanings and messages of his paintings are still a matter of dispute. Some claim he was mad or a hallucinogenic substance user. Others call him a moralist, a satirist, a non-believer, a religious fanatic, a member of some secret cult, etc. Bosch is probably [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory one of the most overanalyzed artists in history]].
* SpiritualSuccessor: Several: Creator/PieterBruegelTheElder, Creator/SalvadorDali, MaxErnst, JoanMiro, Creator/TerryGilliam, RobertCrumb,...
%%* SpookyPainting
* StoryWithinAStory: His paintings are so full of detail that you can view dozens of little anecdotal scenes taking place.
%%* SurrealHorror
* WorldOfSymbolism: A lot of scenes that we might call surreal are, in fact, symbolic allegories.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Bosch caught the Middle Ages in Europe while they were happening. Today his work pretty much defines our opinion about the Dark Middle Ages.
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