“The prodigal son,” Jerome Bosch, is a description of the picture

“The prodigal son,” Jerome Bosch, is a description of the picture
“The prodigal son,” Jerome Bosch, is a description of the picture - 1

  • Posted by Jerome Bosch
  • Museum: Bojmans-van Böningen Museum
  • Year: 1510

Description of the picture :

The prodigal son is Jerome Bosch. 1510. Board, oil. 71 x 70.6 cm
   With the name “Fornication Son”, first of all, a picture of the great Rembrandt usually appears before the inner eyes. However, even before him, many paintings were created on this biblical topic. One of these masterpieces is a picture of Bosch in the late period of his work.

   This masterpiece reveals a clear resemblance to his other work – “The Eye of the Seine”. The triptych’s triptych sashes depict a similar person, even the pose and color scheme are very similar and repeated, if not exactly, then in general terms.

   Although the image is called “Bloody Son,” it is not directly related to the biblical parable. Here, rather, the name “Putnik” or “Pilgrim” is appropriate, as, however, this picture was previously called. Such a name is based on the deep religious representation of Bosch that man is just a guest on this earth, a traveler who must go his earthly way before earning eternal life in the next world.

   The traveler, who is captured by the artist, is bent into the arc from adversity, cut off and patched. He carries his entire simple scarb with him, leaning on a stick. The traveler is thin, and his clothes and shoes are old and shabby, he even has different shoes and a torn trouser leg. In his hands he holds the same plain gray hat with a hint of a feather. But he is armed with a good knife, which should symbolize a person’s desire to defend himself from attacks and threats of fate.

   The environment of the main character is the key to understanding the meaning of the image. If you do not peer into the details, you can decide that this person regrets leaving his home, turning to him for the last time in the hope of remembering forever.

   But it is worthwhile to carefully consider all the details, as it becomes clear that something completely different is depicted here. Despite the fact that a skinny pig with its no less skinny pig eats in the courtyard, a dog looms near the traveler, and a cow stands in the back of the paddock, this is clearly not a farm. Rather, it is a rural tavern, a roadside tavern. This is evidenced by the image of a man who copes with little need behind the building, and the second gentleman squeezing a malleable woman in the doorway. Then it becomes clear that the tavern is a symbol of sinfulness, and the traveler, looking back at it with such a longing, is a sinner fleeing the temptations of this life.