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The inscription on the letter held by this monstrous bird on roller skates could help to understand the meaning of the painting. Unfortunately many interpretations exist of this almost unreadable text and no version can prove to be the right one. The monstrous messenger may bring a letter to the conspirers who are in the hole under the bridge. He looks grotesque with the funnel he wears on his strange bird head. This funnel is supposed to be a symbol of wisdom or entertainment but here this symbolic does not seem very appropriate.
JEROME BOSCH (+1516) :
From an artistic point of view, Hieronymus, better known as Jerome, was considered as a brilliant forerunner of surrealism and was an unique and radically innovator in his time. Bosch was born during the transition between the Middle-Age and the Renaissance in the city of Bois-le-Duc, in the duchy of Brabant. Bosch put fantastic patterns in a hostile and mystic world. He was convinced that men fell under the influence of evil because of their own stupidity and their sins.
He put a mirror in front of the world with an intellectual irony and a magic symbolic and spared no one. He targeted with his sharp arrows both the hypocrisy of the clergy as well as the total lack of reserve of nobles and the immorality of people. The style of Bosch comes from the tradition of manual illustration of book during Middle-Ages. The caricatured representation of evil has some exorcist’s aspects but is also a way to make critics and warning based on religious principles.