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The extraction of the stone of folly

Painting, 1500-th , 48.5×34.5 cm

Description of the artwork «The extraction of the stone of folly»

"Extracting the stone of stupidity" in 2016, was the cause of contention between the Prado Museum (Madrid), where the stored picture, and the Museum of North Brabant, which is arranged the Grand exhibition of Bosch in the homeland of the artist in ' s-Hertogenbosch. The exhibition and 500-year anniversary since the artist's death was preceded by a long study of his works, initiated by the Dutch Museum. In the Prado I think that picture of "Extracting the stone of stupidity" by Hieronymus Bosch between 1500 and 1510 m a year. However, the Dutch researchers said that this work was created around the 1510-1520 year - either in the factory Bosch or one of his followers. The Spaniards, this conclusion is not agreed and at the last moment refused to provide "Extracting the stone of stupidity" for the exhibition in den Bosch.

Against the background of monotonous steppe landscape, gathered strange and who knows how to get there the company. In the chair was located the elderly white-haired man, over whom a monk in a pink robe and with a funnel on his head (similar conical hats in those days wore magicians produces mysterious manipulation: in his hands he holds a scalpel, which cut into the patient's skull, and pulls out from the wound a flower. A second flower appears to be extracted from the same source, is on the table, which, thoughtfully, his chin in his hand, leaned nun. On her head, covered with a white mantle, is a book undoubtedly, the Bible. Another monk, dressed in black and with a silver vessel in his hands, assists the first in his strange operation.

The whole scene is placed in a circle, called in art Tondo (from the ital. rotondo - a circle). Circle, in turn, inscribed in a rectangle. Free from image space decorated with Golden swirls and letters on a dark background. Difficult to read the Golden Gothic lettering around the Tondo stands like this: "Master, remove the stones fast. My name is Lubbert" ("de Meester snijt keye ras/ Myne name is Lubbert das").

Weird (from the perspective of the modern viewer, the plot is not invented by Bosch. The removal of the stone of stupidity is a common folk story in the medieval Netherlands, and in the XV-XVI centuries, it migrated to the literature and fine arts: there are a lot of prints and drawings with a similar plot (here is an option Brueghel). The story of what the fool is to wise up, you need to perform a lobotomy and remove from the head stones, is based on the view, reflected in the Dutch sayings. The nearest person was made to speak "He knows no more stupid stones" about frankly stupid said: "In his head stone (just as in the modern Russian colloquial behavioral oddities described with the words "he's got cockroaches in my head", "porridge in the head").

The presence of foreign objects in the mind was understood in the middle ages, not figuratively, but literally. This is evidenced by the simple fact that in the villages roamed charlatans posing as doctors, who played real shows to remove the "extra" content of the skull. Of course, money. Gullible patient after simulating the operation was shown the stones allegedly removed from his patient's head.

What is the role of Aesculapius Bosch depicts monks, it is quite natural: the most educated people of his time (including knowledge of medicine) was the clergy. Most often, the pattern is interpreted as a satire on charlatans in cassocks, which are strongly fool the gullible. However, this does not indicate atheism Bosch – rather, his moral impartiality. It is on the criticism of the evils of the Church in the same era will develop Protestantism, and Bosch (according to the archives, an active member of one of the Catholic religious brotherhoods) will be called a prophet of the reformation".

The widespread name "Lubbert" was a synonym for the word "fool", "dupe", "dolt" (cf Russian Ivan the fool). Lubbert dressed as dressed the Hoi polloi: a simple white shirt and red pants with an exaggerated codpiece (the same spicy detail often found in Pieter Bruegel, nicknamed "peasant").

The funnel and the book the minds of monks and nuns still cause confusion and debate. Rather, it is quite common in the world of Hieronymus Bosch, "things are not in place". They are interpreted as symbols of undue, improper device world where the Bible, for example, is used not for internal, and for "external use" - ie it is not an internal correction, and achieve a certain life ("external") benefits.

Why is extracted from the wound a flower? Unequivocal opinion on this point, as many items and characters in the works by Bosch do not fit into any of the existing systems and schemes. Most commentators agree that the flowers are the heads of the tulips, but they Express the meaning of the hypotheses differ. According to one version, the word Tulpe in the old Dutch dictionaries had the connotation associated with stupidity. On the other, the flower is related to the idea of the forbidden pleasures that the religious picture of the world is nothing short of stupidity. And finally, it is known that in the homeland of the Bosch Tulip because of its high cost has been synonymous with "easy money". This would reinforce the idea that unsuspecting Lubbert in the picture shamelessly fleecing. But Bosch condemns not only their gullibility bordering on stupidity, is also reprehensible. Younger contemporary and almost fellow countryman Bosch, Erasmus in his "Praise of folly" stated: "All ready to believe the one who is healing passionately waiting for!"

Author: Anna Yesterday
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene

Style of art: Northern Renaissance

Technique: Oil

Materials: Wood

Date of creation: 1500-th

Size: 48.5×34.5 cm

Artwork in selections: 27 selections

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