Psychologist Carl Jung referred to Painter Hieronymus Bosch as being a master of the monstrous and discoverer of the unconscious. What Carl Jung actually meant was that Hieronymus Bosch was an artistic genius as he had the rare gift of unraveling mysteries that were hidden beyond the ordinary eyes as he illustrated images of the demon-world.
From my point of view, Jung’s description of Bosch is actually true as he had a very unique and distinct style of painting which has not been matched by any artist till this day. He practiced an unconventional style of painting as he moved from the old norm of painting; this could be seen in the eccentricity of most of his paintings. His paintings were mainly based on the tortures of hell as he weaved religious visions, practicality, irony, mysticism and bewildering fantasies into his work. Bosch’s works had a quality of mystery that is difficult to comprehend and in order to understand his paintings one needs to have a high demystifying ability.
Bosch’s major themes were on sin and its consequences as he tried to expose the punishment that would be meted on transgressors in hell through his paintings. He showed a lot of concern for eternal condemnation, the Last judgment and ubiquitous evil spirits as they were well illustrated in his paintings. He unravels the mysteries behind the existence of demons through his art work and arouses people’s consciousness to the fact that what they did on earth would determine where they would go in the afterlife. It was his artworks that earned him the title ‘master of the monstrous…discoverer of the unconscious’, which was bestowed on him by Carl Jung (Pioch: Bosch).
What was monstrous about Bosch’s paintings were that they represented horrifying details and an example of this is ‘His vision of Tondalys’, where we see a weird animal, mysterious human, people flying through the air and an illuminating fire that lit the sky. This is definitely what earned him the title ‘master of the monstrous’.
Bosch’s paintings are revealing and extraordinarily innovative, which is worthy of commendation. Bosch was an influential artist and he was a painter of the ‘Late Gothic style’, as a result of his excellent artwork some artists imitated his work as in the case of the surrealists (Pioch: Surrealism). Hence, he could be said to have set a particular painting standard which other artists tried to catch up with. Bosch’s paintings arouse our imagination and reveals hidden mysteries, if one is careful to decrypt the message he is trying to pass across.
Bosch was a genius in painting things that sparkles and would make you keep reflecting on it, due to its uniqueness. He illustrates different images of outrageous monsters, and he makes us believe that it is these set of monsters that would torture sinners in hell. His message was clear; it was mainly on the kingdom of God as he tried to lure people from the road that leads to hell into the pathway to paradise through his creative paintings. He was dedicated and committed to save people from eternal damnation and this was evident in his artwork.
It has been clearly proved that Jung’s reference of Bosch as being a master of the monstrous and discoverer of the unconscious is correct as he exhibits the qualities and this are illustrated in the kind of paintings he did.
Pioch, Nicolas. Web Museum: Bosch, Hieronymus. 2002,. Web.
Pioch, Nicolas. Web Museum: Surrealism. 2002,. Web.