Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Puzzle Day: The Temptation of St. Anthony, 12,144pc


Yesterday, Hieronymus Bosch’s The Temptation of St. Anthony - 12,144pc from Ravensburger showed up (at the same time as Sistine Chapel). This is the original really big puzzle. It was released in 1983 and was the undisputed worlds largest puzzle for nearly 20 years until it was unseated by Clementoni’s 13,200 pressing of Tiziano Vecelli’s Sacred and Profane Love in 2002. It is our first 12,000 piece puzzle.

The puzzle itself is still sealed in 4 bags. The pieces are on light green board and the knobs are less eared than their Wedding Feast at Cana or 4 Historical World Maps (It reminds me much more of a Clementoni cut). When assembled, this big boy will be the actual size of the original painting at 7.9ft x 5.5ft

Here is what Ravi has to say about this puzzle:
Hieronymous Bosch (Jheronimus van Aken) was born in ‘s-Hertogenbosch approx 1450 and buried there on 9/8/1516. 
Of the painters who lived around 1500, Hieronymous Bosch was certainly the most enigmatic. Little of nothing is really known about his life. Unlike his contemporaries, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), he left no notes or comments on his works. In the parish register of this birthplace, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, he is first mentioned in 1480 as Jheronimus van Aken, son of Anthonis van Aken. Although the family can be traced back to living in ‘s-Hertogenbosch since 1399, it isn’t thought that they originally came from Aachen. Both his father Anthonis and his grandfather Jan were painters. Hieronymous van Aken travelled widely and was commissioned by many foreign patrons. Perhaps a wish to honor his brithplace made him call himself Hieronymous Bosch. 
His paintings show Hieronymous Bosch to be a very astute and critical observer of this time. It is mostly the faults and the dark side that he pinpoints in very unusual and wildly fantastic allegories. An abundance of detail, strange apparitions, demons, innumerable fantastic and bizarre creatures, have led to very many and often contradictory interpretations of his works. 
The Temptation of St. Anthony, one of his later works, is also one of the most inaccessible because of its overabundance of allegorical detail.
There are 2 passion scenes on the outside panels of this triptych: on the left, the capture of Christ, and on the right, Christ carrying the cross.
On the left-hand panel the saint is carried off into the air by demons. He resists them and they release him, to fall to the ground. There he is found and saved by the monks of his order. 
On the right-hand panel temptation comes in the shape of a beautiful nude woman. St. Anthony, however, armed with his bible, is looking away. 
The composition of the middle panel is striking: the saint’s head is exactly at the intersection of the diagonals. He is looking at the onlooker, with a gesture of giving benediction. At his feet three priests with animal faces are celebrating a black mass. A witches’ Sabbath is going on behind hi. From the left, the storm troop of the Inquisition is approaching with two dogs in amour (The Dominican Friars, the main agents of the Inquisition, used to call themselves God’s blood hounds). But the whole is built upon the unsafe foundation: mud water and rubble give us an idea of the coming end. 
This painting is in the Museo Naciaonal de Arte Antiga is Lisbon

Interactive Map Double click to zoom in and click and drag to move the image around (You can also use the controls in the upper right)

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