The legacy of Jerome Bosch is unique. The triptych "Ways of Hay", which is five hundred years old, has no analogues in world painting. Painted in the style of “alla prima” without preliminary sketches and drawings, the picture is aesthetically perfect, allegorical and filled with philosophical depth.
The picture consists of three paintings. The left, "Fall", shows in detail how the expulsion of man from Paradise occurred. The central part, the largest in size, “Wissen”, graphically depicts the world of human vices and unnecessary fuss. The right side - “Hell” - depicts what a person will live in sin.
Each picture is its own world, where there is not a single superfluous detail. Landscapes, paraphernalia carry a deep meaning. First there was God, he gave life to all and drove out rebellious angels from hell, turning them into underground demons. In the picture we see eccentric images with wings, tails and various processes that leave the sky-high. But man did not become obedient, succumbing to the snake tempter with a human face. What this world led to is colorfully shown in the central part.
A haystack is a symbol of earthly wealth, which, although it is captured by everyone, does not shy away from theft, murder or cunning. All vices are traced by the author at the foot of the stack. People do not think that Christ is watching them, everyone is busy with vile things: nuns get drunk, ordinary people fill their stomachs and give themselves to carnal pleasures, only an old-wise old man shows his grandson a picture of the world, hoping that temptations can be avoided.
However, the third part realistically shows where werewolves with fish heads and human legs are dragging a cart with hay - to hell. There are waiting for blasphemers, debauchees, liars and thieves. For them, the gallows, the rack, and the animals that devour alive people are ready.
Truly, the world seen by Bosch has changed little in five centuries. The picture is amazing, makes you think and rethink the usual things.
Masaccio Trinity Fresco