I remember the first time I saw Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights (1500-1505), or rather a reproduction of this (in)famous painting: I was a college freshman, and it was printed as a full-color fold-out in my Janson’s History of Art. Like most people who are familiar with this enigmatic masterwork, I still love it and I still don’t understand it. I don’t think the historians of Renaissance art have figured it out yet, either.
Alexander McQueen’s final collection (2010) included a dress printed with details of Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and his Temptation of St. Anthony. (There was also a matching handbag.) And the house of Carven has recently copycatted this idea.
Even if you weren’t able to scoop up one of McQueen’s Bosch dresses or bags (hah!), there are ways to incorporate bits of this enigmatic work into your own look…
1. This post was inspired by my friend C., who sent me a link to this sweater last week, knowing that I’d appreciate it. This design comes from Aloha From Deer, and it reproduces all three sections of Bosch’s triptych across its sleeves and body.
2. Or, depending on your mood, you may just wish to concentrate on the central Garden of Earthly Delights panel, with its frolicking nudes, or on the Hell panel, specifically its “Tree Man” and a pair of ears with a protruding knife blade. These t-shirts are made by ArtsyClothingCo.
3. If you’d rather focus attention on your lower half, these Bosch leggings by Black Milk Clothing (sold out, but still floating around the internet) could be your thing. A little more risky, perhaps, but they could always be worn with a floaty black tunic.
4. SkinIt offers several Bosch-appropriated decal “skins” for iPhones. I can imagine this one being a conversation-starter.
5. The Etsy shop Liminalia has captured several details of Bosch’s triptypch as necklace designs. This one, when isolated, is charming—like a whimsical botanical arrangement.
Or you could choose this still-innocent couple, a man offering a giant strawberry to a flaxen-haired woman.
Are you a Bosch fan? Have you ever seen his art reproduced as something wearable that you coveted?