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

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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