Date of Submission

Spring 2011

Academic Program

Art History


Jean French

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This essay examines the evolution of Hieronymus Bosch's musical instruments from silent props to sentient characters. It follows the course of the instruments' progression, beginning with the influence of preceding artists and Bosch's early work, and ends with the climactic "Hell" panel of "the Garden of Earthly Delights" in which the instruments have gained complete independence and dominate the human souls. The theories of Aristotle, Tinctoris, Machaut, Dante and the Devotio Moderna are analyzed for their highly influential effects on the instruments' liberation, particularly concerning their belief in the musical body and soul.

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