Hieronymus Bosch’s Medieval Painting, “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” Comes to Life in a Gigantic, Modern Animation

in Art | November 21st, 2016

For the 500-year anniversary of Hieronymus Bosch‘s death, the MOTI Museum in Holland commissioned a modern re-interpretation of the Dutch painter’s famous medieval painting, “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (circa 1490). If you’re not familiar with Bosch’s enigmatic creation, explore these two items before you do anything else:

Take a Virtual Tour of Hieronymus Bosch’s Bewildering Masterpiece The Garden of Earthly Delights

New App Lets You Explore Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” in Virtual Reality

Then check out the video above, which gives you a glimpse of the gigantic video installation that’s on display at the MOTI through December 31st.

Here’s how the Dutch animators behind this project explain what’s unfolding before your eyes:

[We] cleared the original landscape of the middle panel of Bosch’s painting and reconstructed it into a hallucinatory 4K animation. The creatures that populate this indoor playground embody the excesses and desires of 21st century Western civilization. Consumerism, selfishness, escapism, the lure of eroticism, vanity and decadence. All characters are metaphors for our society where loners swarm their digital dream world. They are symbolic reflections of egos and an imagination of people as they see themselves – unlike Bosch’s version, where all individuals more or less look the same. From a horny Hello Kitty to a coke hunting penis snake. From an incarnate spybot to headless fried chickens. These characters, once precisely painted dream figures, are now digitally created 3D models. All of them have been given their own animation loop to wander through the landscape. By placing them altogether in this synthetic fresco, the picture is never the same. What the animation and Bosch’s triptych have in common is that you’ll hardly be able to take it all in, you can watch it for hours.

If you happen to find yourself in Holland, you can experience the installation firsthand (again before 12/31). Find directions to the MOTI here.

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