Garden of Earthly Delights: Hell

The right panel of The Garden of Earthly Delights illustrates Hell, the setting of a number of Bosch paintings. The detail shows a gigantic bird-headed monster as it feeds on the tormented. The monster is sometimes referred to as the “Prince of Hell”, a name derived from the cauldron he wears on his head, perhaps representing a debased crown. Renewed interest in Bosch’s work came during the early 20th-century as the imagery struck a chord with early surrealists and their fascination with dreamscapes, the autonomy of the imagination, and a free flowing connection to the unconscious. Joan Miró and Salvador Dali were especially influenced by Bosch.


Hieronymous Bosch was an Early Netherlandish painter of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. His work is well-known for the use of fantastic imagery and his influence among surrealist, fantastic, and fantasy artists.