Watch the Spectacular Hieronymus Bosch Parade, Which Floats Through the Garden of Earthly Delights Painter’s Hometown Every Year

Whether paint­ing scenes of par­adise, damna­tion, or some­where in between, Hierony­mus Bosch real­ized elab­o­rate­ly grotesque visions that fas­ci­nate us more than 500 years lat­er. But no mat­ter how long we gaze upon his work, espe­cial­ly his large-for­mat altar­piece trip­tychs, most of us would­n’t want to spend our lives in his world. But a group of ded­i­cat­ed Bosch fans has made it pos­si­ble to live in it for three days a year, when the annu­al Bosch Parade floats down the Dom­mel Riv­er. Last year that small water­way host­ed “a sto­ry in motion, pre­sent­ed on 14 sep­a­rate tableaux. They shape a uni­ver­sal tale of pow­er and coun­ter­force, bat­tle and rap­proche­ment, chaos and hope. From the chaos after the bat­tle a new order shall emerge.”

All images © Bosch Parade, Ben Niehuis

In prac­ti­cal terms, writes Colos­sal’s Grace Ebert, that meant “a musi­cal per­for­mance played on a par­tial­ly sub­merged piano and a scene with two peo­ple strad­dling enor­mous horns,” as well as a dozen oth­er water-based vignettes that passed through the Dutch town of ‘s‑Hertogenbosch, Bosch’s birth­place and lat­er his name­sake.

Every­thing that rolled down the Dom­mel was designed by a group of artists select­ed, accord­ing to the parade’s web site, “on the basis of their com­ple­men­tary char­ac­ter­is­tics, the var­i­ous dis­ci­plines they rep­re­sent and their clear match with the Bosch Parade artis­tic ‘DNA’ in the way they work and per­form.” As you can see in the 2019 Bosch Parade’s pro­gram, the artists’ cre­ations draw on 15th-cen­tu­ry con­cep­tions of life, art, tech­nol­o­gy, and the human body while also tak­ing place unmis­tak­ably in the 21st.

Though Bosch’s paint­ings look alive even in their motion­less­ness, to appre­ci­ate a parade requires see­ing it in action. Hence the videos here of the 2015 Bosch Parade: at the top of the post is a short teas­er; just above is a longer com­pi­la­tion of some of the even­t’s most Boschi­an moments, which puts the painter’s images side-by-side with the floats they inspired. View­ers will rec­og­nize ele­ments of The Gar­den of Earth­ly Delights, Bosch’s sin­gle best-known work, but also of The Hay­wain Trip­tych, The Sev­en Dead­ly Sins and the Four Last Things, and The Temp­ta­tions of St. Antho­ny. As art his­to­ry buffs know, some of those paint­ings may or may not have been paint­ed by Bosch him­self, but by one of his fol­low­ers or con­tem­po­rary imi­ta­tors.

But to the extent that all these images can inspire mod­ern-day painters, sculp­tors, musi­cians, dancers, and spec­ta­cle-mak­ers, they enrich the Boschi­an real­i­ty — a real­i­ty of water and fire, bod­ies and body parts, men and mon­sters, con­trap­tions and pro­jec­tions, and even video games and the inter­net — that comes to life every sum­mer in ‘s‑Hertogenbosch. Or rather, most every sum­mer: the next Bosch Parade is sched­uled not for June of this year but June of 2021. But when that time comes around around it will last for four days, from the 17th through the 20th. That infor­ma­tion comes from the parade’s Twit­ter account, which in the run-up to the event will pre­sum­ably also post answers to all the most impor­tant ques­tions — such as whether next year will fea­ture any live but­tock music.

via Colos­sal

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Hierony­mus Bosch Fig­urines: Col­lect Sur­re­al Char­ac­ters from Bosch’s Paint­ings & Put Them on Your Book­shelf

Pho­tog­ra­ph­er Cre­ates Stun­ning Real­is­tic Por­traits That Recre­ate Sur­re­al Scenes from Hierony­mus Bosch Paint­ings

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

Take a Mul­ti­me­dia Tour of the But­tock Song in Hierony­mus Bosch’s Paint­ing The Gar­den of Earth­ly Delights

Liv­ing Paint­ings: 13 Car­avag­gio Works of Art Per­formed by Real-Life Actors

Flash­mob Recre­ates Rembrandt’s The Night Watch in a Dutch Shop­ping Mall

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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