Thursday, August 1, 2013

The wayfarer: Bosch and the search for the inner self



Another installment in my Bosch commentaries. The esoteric analysis of this painting can be accessed at the link at the bottom of the page.

Perhaps not every Bosch painting is complex or unusual enough to lend itself to esoteric analysis: undoubtedly, there were pieces he painted for patrons which had to be white-bread, straightforward enough to satisfy their requirements, and we can presume that not every customer he painted for wanted to let his unpredictable genius run rampant... thank goodness so many of them did!

Nonetheless, even apparently simple paintings by Bosch tend, upon close inspection, to yield fascinating elements that just can't be explained using conventional methods; and this is because so many of his works made reference to inner work of one kind or another. His most significant religious revelation (visually expounded in the Garden of Earthly Delights) had distinctly Swedenborgian overtones which can only be appreciated by studying both men at some length; and his sheer imagination and often perverse sense of humor keep every viewer on their toes.

This particular piece turns out to have a wealth of interesting detail, including some weirdly far-out objects, and at least one man peeing in a dark corner. The subject, nonetheless, is a serious one: a man setting out on his personal spiritual path.

The piece has significant symbolic and thematic connections to at least three other Bosch paintings, reinforcing some of the interpretations of his symbolic language.


Follow this link for the analysis:

The Wayfarer: Bosch and the Search for the Inner Self

May your soul be filled with light.

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