A Hieronymus Bosch website created by Adam McLean

Making sense of Bosch
Many interpretations have been given of Bosch's paintings over the last fifty or so years. Bosch has been presented as a member of an esoteric sect, a crypto-Cathar, an alchemist, Freudians see him as being a repressed homosexual with polymorphous-perverse fantasies, others see him as so well read that he incorporated complex messages in the form of visual puns based on biblical texts or folklore, one commentator even suggesting he was using early Greek source texts, another that it was based on a reading of Isaiah. These interpretations only show the mindset of the interpreter. Poor old Hieronymus Bosch the painter is lost in the complexities of their interpretations.

This website will attempt to return Bosch's work to the painter. It will turn a critical eye upon modern interpretations and examine some of the presumptions that have been made over the years.

Adam McLean has now created a study course video on the Garden of Earthly Delights and later hopes to create similar studies of the Last Judgement and the Temptation of St Anthony. In his course McLean avoids any theorising but instead provides the first coherent in-depth reading of the entire painting.

See a short sample video from the study course


9 Jan 2011 - Added critiques of
Interpretation of Wertheim Aymes
Interpretation of Kurt Falk
27 May 2013 - Added information on Bosch's Biography
11 June 2013 - added some information on the hallucinogenic interpretation