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Hieronymous Bosch (1415-1516, born Jheronimus van Aken) was a Dutch painter whose works could be said to have put the evil in medieval. A prolific artist, Bosch's paintings are characterized by horrific and graphic images that reflect the artist's less-than-benign perspective on humanity. More than any artist of his time -- and probably any time since -- Bosch depicted the descent of man to Hell with a disturbing zeal that was the cultural antithesis of the more religiously pious and politically-influenced periods that would follow his death. While Bosch's paintings were heavily oriented toward Biblical themes, his imagery was decidedly more critical of mankind's propensity for sin than most other artists throughout history. Among his most famous paintings is the triptych titled "Garden of Earthly Delights," which depicts people cavorting and sinning and, finally, subjected to the punishments that such immoral behavior would prompt. Bosch specialized in illuminating, and vastly exaggerating, the weaknesses of man and the certainty of horrific punishment that would eventually result. In "The Last Judgement," a human is being devoured by a monster, and his depiction of "Hell" is pretty much what one would expect of this particular artist.
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