• jb

Stitching in Stagnacy

Aktualisiert: Apr 13

Usually, the well known paintings of Hieronymus Bosh oscillate somewhere between hell and paradise. This time I would like to write about a painting that might not be as famous as others. It is the outer panel of The Garden of delights (here go to "Panels" and then "Outer Panels").

The image itself is painted in black and white and it shows the world on the third day of the creation. The heavens and the earth were created first, then the light was separated from the darkness as well as the waters from the dry land. Finally, on the third day vegetation was created and the day and night started to alternate. On the painting we can recognize the earth; half night, half day. The landscape is covered with some kind of trees and plants, however they are not recognizable as we know them today. The process of creation still continues. Other object seem to be something between rocks, plants and abstract objects. From the sky, that is covered with heavy clouds, the sun rays touch the surface. It is quite complex painting but I love it so much. It contains many philosophical questions, especially when it comes to definition what is an object or how the objects may appear in the world. It seems to me like if God created first a few prototypes (trees, rocks, raw material for plants or even animals). Bosh’s depiction resembles to Platon’s Theory of Forms. According to this theory all objects on the earth are imperfect realizations of the ideals, e.g. each horse is only similar to the very perfect idea of a horse.


For long time I tried to figure out how to stitch this painting, since it isn’t easy to implement abstract objects without getting into chaos. I’ve decided to use simple lines (mostly running stich); they should also represent the very beginning of the things as we know them. And the running stitch itself is also the very first stitch, known already during the stone age. So far I’m satisfied with my work, I hope it will stay like this :) During the stitching process I tried to work possibly close on the original painting, even if I had to simplify some depictions. The right side shows the earth by night, the left side by day. Interestingly, Bosh painted the landscape during the process of creation: during the day the form are fully developed, during the nigh the objects appear to be in an initial stage. The image itself is very quiet, which is also the reason I’ve decided to stitch it now - during the lockdown. Metaphorically, it represents the actual situation, when we’re trying to get a picture of the situation around us. One might say, it is not only the world itself that is changing, but also our idea of it.


In the next step I’m going to stitch the skies, the clouds and the sun rays, which I’m looking for particularly. I hope my stitched image will be similar to the original, so you can recognize it. Updates follow soon…



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