2016 marks the 500 anniversary of death of Hieronymus Bosch. It is almost the only information about the author of The Garden of Earthly Delights that we can put a precise date to. Bosch, the garden of dreams is a film about his most important painting and one of the most iconic paintings in the world: The Garden of Earthly Delights.
There have been many interpretations of the painting of Bosch since its inception. Bosch has been appointed as a member of an esoteric sect, a crypto-cátaro, an alchemist, others are convinced that he incorporated complex messages as visual puns based on biblical texts or folklore. These interpretations often only reflect the mentality of the beholder.
It is a picture for all because, while it fascinates the eyes of the average viewer, it also contains many depth layers that an informed spectator would recognise, symbols of deeper levels of meaning that inquire into the nature of its mysteries.
We have maintained a conversation between artists, writers, philosophers, musicians and scientists on the personal, historical and artistic significance of the picture; bringing back to our days a 'conversatio' that began 500 years ago in the court of the Dukes of Nassau, in Brussels, when it is believed that the painting was commissioned by Bosch.
This 'conversatio' is conducted by art historian Reindert Falkenburg, who is accompanied, among others, by the authors Salman Rushdie, Orhan Pamuk, Cees Nooteboom, Nelida Pinon and Laura Restrepo; artists Miquel Barceló, Cai Guo-Qiang, Isabel Muñoz and José Manuel Ballester; Musicians Renée Fleming, William Christie, Ludovico Einaudi, Leonardo García Alarcón and Silvia Pérez Cruz; playwright Albert Boadella; comic author MAX; historians John Elliott and Carmen Iglesias; neuroscientist Sophie Schwartz; and of course, art historians Pilar Silva (curator of the exhibition "El Bosco, The exhibition of the V Centenary" in the Prado Museum May 31 to September 11, 2016), Alejandro Vergara (Chief Curator of Flemish Painting and Northern Schools from Prado Museum), Nils Büttner (Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart), Elisabeth stool-Delahaye (Cluny Museum), Xavier Salomon (Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator of the Frick Collection) and Philippe de Montebello (President the Hispanic Society).
There are still many mysteries surrounding the triptych, but at the same time there are elements for all: bright colors, complex action, comedy, tragedy, mystery, sin, life, death, and perhaps even redemption. The work can be appreciated and is able to capture the viewer without being understood.
The film takes us to understand the piece.