What painting am I thinking of?
July 9, 2009 11:52 AM   Subscribe

What painting am I thinking of?

It's a pretty old one, something like 15th or 16th century. It is a depiction of daily life with heaven above and hell below, meant to represent the entire cosmos, I guess. It is large and extremely detailed, like a Bruegel painting, but it's not Bruegel. I remember being able to make out cuts of meat in a shop window, even though they were probably about as big as the head of a pin (ok, maybe a big pin) in the actual painting.

I saw a reproduction in an art history class years ago, and I've been trying to remember it ever since. It's not the Michelangelo painting in the Vatican. I think it was even before that, as the perspective and depth etc. aren't very well developed.

Wish I could be more specific. Bonus points if you link to an image!
posted by ekroh to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Garden of Earthly Delights, or some other Hieronymus Bosch painting?
posted by TedW at 12:21 PM on July 9, 2009

I am by no means a student of this area of art history and may be way off, but could it be The Garden of Early Delights or The Haywain Triptych by Hieronymous Bosch?
posted by urbanlenny at 12:22 PM on July 9, 2009

Whoops, should have previewed. In that case, ditto TedW's recommendation.
posted by urbanlenny at 12:23 PM on July 9, 2009

Response by poster: It's not those Bosch paintings. It's similar to those as far as the style goes, but my (vague) memory is that heaven was on top and hell was below. The middle part was a scene of life in a village. I remember a lot of oranges and reds. I also remember some kind of large demon that was box-shaped, but I could be conflating that with another painting.
posted by ekroh at 12:50 PM on July 9, 2009

Bosch's Allegory of Gluttony and Lust features a prominent cut of meat on a plate, and part of a triptych.
posted by mdonley at 12:51 PM on July 9, 2009

Jacob van Swanenburgh's style is somewhat similar to both Bruegel and Bosch - the three images in the top row especially.
posted by iconomy at 1:03 PM on July 9, 2009

Something like van Eyck?
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 1:04 PM on July 9, 2009

The Last Judgement by Bosch?
posted by multivalent at 1:14 PM on July 9, 2009

William Blake?
posted by b33j at 2:20 PM on July 9, 2009

Hmm. Based on your descriptions, and after flipping through the 500+page textbook for my Northern Renaissance Art class, I'm fairly convinced you're thinking of a Bosch painting (although, Bruegel is still a possibility, as he was highly influenced by Bosch - and both painters had their own sets of imitators, so it could still be someone else, but likely, if it was for an art history class, you'd be studying the original, right?).

If that being the case, my first instinct is to either echo multivalent's suggestion of that Bosch "Last Judgement," or offer up the suggestion of this Bosch "Last Judgement." Both have heaven at top, hell down below, weird demons, orange/red color theme. I personally lean towards the latter, not just because I selected it, but because I recall it being one of the slides my professor used when teaching us how to "deconstruct" Bosch, so to speak.

However. If you'd like to try to find your own Bosch, here's a site with an impressive collection through which you can browse.
posted by paisley sheep at 6:08 PM on July 9, 2009

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