Maria Kapteijns
Hieronymus Bosch
and a structural analysis
The Jeroen Bosch Kwartet was produced for a exhibition of souvenirs in Den Bosch.

introduction
Kwartet is a very Dutch game, in which the players have to rearrange the playing cards in order to get series of four related pictures. In my design it is used as a method to organize signs; simular objects or behaviour in a painting of Bosch (Hell, from the triptych Garden of Delight), the way you would try to understand a foreign language without any clues. Which elements occur repeatedly? How is meaning produced?

Hel, the third panel of Bosch’s painting The Garden of Delight, depicts how people get punished for committed crimes, preferably with objects that refer to their sins. The work is loaded with Medieval symbolism, which is not comprehensible for us any more and even earlier writers had trouble understanding. 


One can recognize all different kind of ‘headwear’, ice skaters, birdlike figures, games etc. Probably these are all meaningfull elements. One of the headwear has two points, which could be a sign for prostitution, the spoonbill (one of the birds), refers to gluttony. Even musical instruments (as a symbol for excess?) become torture intruments.

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