The Garden of Earthly Delights
is a triptych
painted by the early Netherlandish
master Hieronymus Bosch
(c. 1450–1516), housed in the Museo del Prado
since 1939. Dating from 1503 and 1504, when Bosch was about 50 years old, it is his best-known and most ambitious work. Bosch's masterpiece
reveals the artist at the height of his powers. The triptych comprises three sections, a square inner panel with rectangular panels on either side which close as shutters. The panels are painted in oil
, the exterior panels of the shutters being in grisaille
. The outer wings, when folded shut, show the earth during the Creation
. The three scenes of the inner triptych are probably intended to be read chronologically from left to right. The left panel depicts God presenting to Adam
the newly created Eve
. The central panel is a broad panorama of sexually engaged nude figures, fantastical animals, oversized and gorged fruit, and hybrid stone formations. The right panel is a hellscape and portrays the torments of damnation
. Art historians
and critics frequently interpret the painting as a didactic warning on the perils of life's temptations. American writer Peter S. Beagle
describes it as an "erotic derangement that turns us all into voyeurs, a place filled with the intoxicating air of perfect liberty".
A photographer's assistant uses a portable folding reflector to "bounce" available sunlight onto the model. Also known as a bounce board, this type of reflector is useful when the available light is insufficient for what the scene requires, and using a flash would make the lighting too harsh. Here, because of the mostly overcast day, the sun is positioned in the wrong location to illuminate both the model and desired background properly, so a reflector is used to accomplish the task.