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Hieronymus Bosch: Garden of Earthly Delights Paperback – April 28, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel; 2nd edition (April 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791333208
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791333205
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Although Hieronymus Bosch's triptych painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights, has fascinated viewers for centuries, commentators have been perplexed about its intended meaning. In this book, German art historian Belting (Thomas Struth) argues persuasively for an interpretation of the enigmatic central panel as a representation of the earthly paradise that would have existed if Adam and Eve's fall had never taken place. Belting's book is more philosophical and less comprehensive than Jos Koldeweij and others' recent Hieronymus Bosch: The Complete Paintings and Drawings, and Belting's discussion of the religious and cultural context of Bosch's art sometimes strays so far from the art itself that it is hard to see the connection. This book is valuable, however, for its novel view of a much-discussed painting. A large foldout reproduction of the triptych and many close-up views and reproductions of several related works add to the book's value. Recommended for scholarly and specialized collections.
Kathryn Wekselman, Cincinnati, OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A large foldout reproduction of the triptych and many close-up vies and reproductions of several related works add the value." -- Library Journal, December 2002

"An excellent introduction to this artist and one of his masterpieces." -- Wall Street Journal, December 2002

"An excellent introduction to this artist and one of his masterpieces." -- Wall Street Journal

"Hans Belting elaborates on even the tiniest component persuasively and produces a masterful history of this famed art icon." -- Commuter Week, November 2002

Included in Choice’s annual Outstanding Academic Title list. -- Choice, October 2002

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Richard Hyman on November 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent monograph on Bosch's most important, endlessly fascinating, painting. You can accept the distinguished author's interpretations or not but the plates are what counts. The size of the central panel is 6" wide by 7" high and the side panels 3" x 7" - too small to gain more than a sense of the work but the marvelous details, which I take to be actual size, are very clear with both the craquelure and pentimenti visible. The screen is so fine magnification is required to see it. In a way the illlustrations are better than being in Madrid: no one standing in front, nor extraneous noise, nor guard to shoo you back. My only wish is the format were larger, but then the cost would be so much greater. The current after market price of $1.55 represents an incredible bargain.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D K on November 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
...The plates in this book show fantastic detail. Every crack in the paint is visible in many of the closeups. These are new pictures taken after the painting, was cleaned & restored.

So if you are an artist or color enthusiast this is essential.

Some of these same photos are also used in this poster "book" by the same publisher: ( # ISBN-10: 3791330705 & # ISBN-13: 978-3791330709, with a detachable poster of the painting, 24 pages, 16.3 x 9.2 x 0.3 inches).
...This book does not show all of his paintings. It is focused on the one in the title "Garden Of Earthly Delights".

...The theory is interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Alexander TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You know, maybe some things happen for a reason, even if we don't know what that reason is.

The day I ordered this book, there just happened to be a story on CNN that night, talking about a new 'discovery' in the Garden of Earthly Delights painting. Apparently, a group of college kids were sitting around, pondering the piece---probably a poster---when one of them noticed musical notes across the nude buttocks of one of the men in the painting. She wrote down the notes, put it to music, and the art world was amazed that she cued into this little nugget that no one else had seen or thought of.

I first saw this painting at the Prado in Madrid. I had never heard of it, but I struggled to get a glimpse, as there were hoards of people surrounding it. I couldn't really take it all in, and it wasn't until last year---when we went back to Spain---that I saw it up-close and uninterrupted. Sadly, tourism was down in Spain last year, but it meant we could get close to a lot of popular paintings without obstruction, this being one of them.

I love this book. It always fascinates me when a whole book can be written about one piece of art. I mean, really, how many examples are there (e.g., Mona Lisa, Guernica, Las Meninas, Girl with a Pearl Earring, American Gothic ...). This book is compact----only 125 pages---but the author put a lot into it. The reproductions are great! You can even see the crackling of the paint.

The book is part detective story, part history, and part analysis. The author tells us what we know about Hieronymus Bosch, but a lot of the story is trying to piece things together, looking for clues and trying to find what makes the most sense. I won't tell you about the general findings, but it's a fascinating piece of work.
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By Curious on December 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The work is quite well illustrated and is divided into two parts.
The first 90-odd pages deals with a reasonable hypothesis concerning Bosch's quintessential triptych. There is no proof that can be given to this as versus any other. Still, it gives an approach to understanding this unique work, if not perhaps what Bosch (Jheronimus Achtinonen von Aken) had in mind.
There is a second part of 28 pages that deals with contemporaneous exploration that perhaps touches on fantastical creatures as well as on current beliefs. This part seems to be appended to the main as a 'filler', not clearly connected with the first part. It strikes me as not really fully integrated with the balance of the book.

The fantastical creatures being based on exploration is not necessarily related to the exploration noted including The Americas and prior discovery of Africa, India and Serendip (Sri Lanka). Indeed Unicorns, Dragons and Griffons were among the well-used figures of Heraldry and religious art and were prevalent in the culture. Other creatures such as Basilisk, fish-bird hybrids, the Fauvel or horse-from-hell, dog-serpent, mermen so and cynocephalus creatures (dog-headed-men) were well known of before the fourteenth Century.

The book is a decent work, but should not be taken as authoritative; though there is no more authoritative source beyond this either. It is recommended for the art work and the credible effort to give some unifying idea to this work.
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