Hieronymus Bosch

The Garden of Earthly Delights

The Garden of Delights is one of the only three triptychs of Bosch that were not commissioned by the Catholic Church. Henry III, Count of Nassau, is the most likely patron of this work, however it is also possible that this piece was made on behalf of a heretical sect: the Brethren of the Free Spirit. For this Gnostic sect, the mystery of salvation lay not only in prayer and contemplation, but in the fulfillment of a new Adamic cult capable of turning the carnal union of man and woman into the basis of a second paradise.

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