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GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS Hieronymus Bosch 3 Silver Coin Set 2$ 5$ Cook Islands 2011


The world's first ever triptych coins represents 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, painted by the Dutch painter Bosch. Made of silver 925 and issued by Cook Islands to commemorate 500 years from the final realization of the triptych. Issued with extremely low mintage of 500 pcs.

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Hieronymus Bosch
Hieronymus Bosch (born Jeroen Anthoniszoon van Aken, 1450 – 1516) was a famous Dutch painter, he spent his entire artistic career in the small Dutch town of Hertogenbosch, from which he derived his name. His work is known for its use of fantastic imagery to illustrate moral and religious concepts and narratives.
At the time of his death, Bosch was internationally celebrated as an eccentric painter of religious visions who dealt in particular with the torments of hell. During his lifetime Bosch's works were in the inventories of noble families of the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, and they were imitated in a number of paintings and prints throughout the 16th century, especially in the works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Bosch was a member of the religious Brotherhood of Our Lady, for whom he painted several altarpieces for the Cathedral of Saint John's, Hertogenbosch, all of which are now lost. The artist probably never went far from home, although records exist of a commission in 1504 from Philip the Handsome (later king of Castile), for a lost Last Judgment altarpiece. None of Bosch's pictures are dated, although the artist signed many of them.

The Garden of Earthly Delights
The Garden of Earthly Delights is a famous triptych, housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1939. Dating from between 1490 and 1510, when Bosch was about 40 or 50 years old, it is his best-known and most ambitious work.
The masterpiece reveals the artist at the height of his powers; in no other painting does he achieve such complexity of meaning or such vivid imagery. The triptych is painted in oil and comprises a square middle panel flanked by two rectangular wings that can close over the center as shutters. The three scenes of the inner triptych are probably (but not necessarily) intended to be read chronologically from left to right.

The Paradise - The Joining of Adam & Eve
The left panel depicts a scene from the paradise of the Garden of Eden commonly interpreted as the moment when God presents Eve to Adam. The painting shows Adam waking from a deep sleep to find God holding Eve by her wrist and giving the sign of his blessing to their union. God is young looking, blue-eyed and with golden curls. The surrounding landscape is populated by hut-shaped forms, some of which are made from stone, while others are at least partially organic. Behind Eve, rabbits symbolizing fecundity play in the grass, and a dragon tree opposite is thought to represent eternal life. The background reveals several animals that would have been exotic to contemporaneous Europeans, including a giraffe, an elephant and a lion that has killed and about to devour his prey. In the foreground, a circular hole in the ground emits birds and winged animals, some of which are realistic, some fantastic. A fish with human hands and a duck's head clutches a book while emerging from the cavity in flight, while to the left of the area a cat holds a small creature in its jaws.

The Garden
The center image depicts the expansive "garden" landscape which gives the triptych its name. The panel shares a common horizon with the left wing, suggesting a temporal and spatial connection between the two scenes. The garden is teeming with male and female nudes, together with a variety of animals, plants and fruit. The setting is not the paradise shown in the left panel, but neither is it based in the terrestrial realm. Fantastic creatures mingle with the real; otherwise ordinary fruits appear engorged to a gigantic size. The figures are engaged in diverse amorous sports and activities, both in couples and in groups. The numerous human figures revel in an innocent, self-absorbed joy as they engage in a wide range of activities: some enjoy sexual pleasures, others play unselfconsciously in the water, and yet others cavort in meadows with a variety of animals, seemingly at one with nature. In the middle of the background, a large blue globe resembling a fruit pod rises in the middle of a pond. Visible through its circular window is a man fondling his partner's genitals, and the bare buttocks of yet another figure hover in the vicinity.

The Hell
The right panel illustrates Hell. Bosch depicts a world in which humans have succumbed to the temptations of the devil and reap eternal damnation. The scene is set at night, and the natural beauty that adorned the earlier panels is noticeably absent —rendered through cold colorization and frozen waterways—and presents a tableau that has shifted from the paradise of the center image to a spectacle of cruel torture and retribution. In a single, densely detailed scene, the viewer is made witness to cities on fire in the background; war, torture chambers, infernal taverns, and demons in the midground; and mutated animals feeding on human flesh in the foreground. The nakedness of the human figures has lost all its eroticism, and many now attempt to cover their genitalia and breasts with their hands. The focal point of the scene is the "Tree-Man", whose cavernous torso stands on a pair of rotting tree trunks. His head supports a disk populated by demons and victims together with bagpipes reminiscent of human viscera. The tree-man's torso is formed from a broken eggshell, and is supported by the trunk of a rotten tree whose thorn-like branches pierce his body. The tree-man gazes outwards beyond the viewer, his conspirative expression a mix of wistfulness and resignation Below him a gigantic bird-headed monster feeds on the tormented, which he defecates into the transparent chamber pot on which he sits. The monster is sometimes referred to as the "Prince of Hell", a name derived from the cauldron he wears on his head, perhaps representing a debased crown.

  • CountryCook Islands
  • Year2011
  • Face Value2 Dollars, 5 Dollars
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)925/1000
  • Weight (g)62.2 (2 oz)
  • Size (mm)17.5 x 35, 35 x 35
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)500
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes
  • Set (pcs)3
This coin depicts "The Garden of Earthly Delights", a masterpiece of painter "Bosch". The left coin depicts God presenting Adam to Eve, while the central coin is a broad panorama of sexually engaged nude figures, fantastical animals, oversized fruit and hybrid stone formations. The right coin is a hell scape and portrays the torments of damnation. Art historians and critics frequently interpret the painting as a didactic warning on the perils of life's temptations. The reverse of each coin depicts Queen Elizabeth II profile. The three coins are housed in an elegant wooden box with an illustrative book.