“Attracting a stone of stupidity,” Jerome Bosch – a description of the picture

“Attracting a stone of stupidity,” Jerome Bosch – a description of the picture
“Attracting a stone of stupidity,” Jerome Bosch - a description of the picture - 1

  • Posted by Jerome Bosch
  • Museum: Prado Museum
  • Year: 1494

Description of the picture :

Extract of the stone of stupidity – Jerome Bosch. Wood, butter. 48.5 x 34.5 cm
   The painting “Extract of the Stone of Stupidity” was written by Jeronim Bosch on the popular in the XV-XVII centuries. plot of Dutch painting. Artists often portrayed this operation to show its absurdity and expose various human vices.

   The picture depicts four people: “doctor”, his patient, monk and nun. The so-called healer extracts a flower from the head of the ward; another one, already extracted, lies on the table. Against the background is a monotonous landscape.

   As on other Bosch bands, most details make any sense.

   Firstly, the very form of the picture – the circle – as it were, covers the whole world and says that such situations occur everywhere, because stupidity and quackery are ubiquitous phenomena. Outside the circle it says: “Master, remove the stone. My name is Lubbert Das. ”. The name of the character was not chosen by chance: in Dutch folklore they were often called simpletons and moronic people who were easily fooled.

   In the image of the “doctor” there is a strange headgear – an inverted funnel on the head. Such an incorrect position of her symbolizes cunning, falsehood. In addition, a funnel can refer the viewer to alchemy, which Bosch gave in his work demonic properties.

   An empty jug hangs on the quack belt – a sign of insativeness, endless greed and self-serving. Another jug – probably with wine – holds a monk, and in this case the vessel symbolizes drunkenness.

   The nun holds a book on his head. It is used incorrectly and therefore is similar to a funnel at the charlatan, also meaning false wisdom and the wrong, unnatural course of things. Another hint of deception is the patient’s wallet pierced with a knife.

   Explaining why Bosch depicted flowers instead of stones is not so simple. There are two main versions: according to the first, the names of tulips and cloves in the Dutch language are associated with stupidity and stones, respectively; the second version is associated with religious overtones, where flowers – forbidden fruits – also mean stupidity.

   “Attracting a stone of stupidity” is a satire at the same time both to the credulity of ordinary people and to the vices of the clergy. Such a denunciation was the beginning of the development of Protestantism, and now Bosch is often called the prophet of the Reformation.