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I. Bosch wrote most of his works on the life of saints, often using biblical subjects. The artist did not use sketches so popular in his time. Often portrayed the creation of a miracle or painful death, such paintings caused delight among people of the Middle Ages. Bosch was attracted by quiet storylines that reflected spirituality and deep philosophical meaning.
The painting "The Holy Hermits" displays hermits who are attached to their thoughts against the background of nature. All paintings show the principles of life in the tract "Imitation of Christ." Three scenes are very complex with many details. Here is humility and the temptation of female flesh. Holiness and sinful thoughts intertwine, and, as you know, thinking about sin is already a sin.
The picture was created after reading the “Book of Higher Truth”. This mystical work influenced the artist’s worldview and served as an inspiration for the creation of a picturesque masterpiece. The canvas reflects the degree of coming to a higher truth. In the central image, Saint Jerome looks at the crucifixion of Christ in search of salvation in him. Around him are remnants of paganism and spiritual confrontation, depicted in the form of two mating monsters.
The artist portrayed him unconventionally, moving away from the image of an old man. The saint prays on the remnants of paganism that have not yet disappeared. The left side displays the image of St. Anthony. He is tempted by a naked woman, and around her are demons. Such an image of temptation very accurately conveys the carnal desires of an ordinary person.
For the artist, it was this saint who was closest. St. Anthony spent a lot of time in the desert. He resists temptation, and the glow of a burning village illuminates the escort of sin ever brighter.
The right side of the work reflects the life of St. Aegius. He comfortably settled in a cave and prays. Saint with an arrow sticking out of his chest. This image was traditional; he covered himself with his beloved deer. Saint Aegius protects all the poor and poor. It is with his help that sins are forgiven.