Listen to the Song Hieronymus Bosch Painted Onto a Man’s Butt in “The Garden of Earthly Delights”

The Garden Of Earthly Delights By Hieronymus Bosch

Detail of “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymous Bosch. Between 1490 and 1510. (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights is one of the world's most recognizable paintings, thanks to the artist's incorporation of unique aesthetics, uncanny characters, and remarkable depth. The piece is a triptych oil painting that shows the Garden of Eden, Paradise, and Hell. The detailed artwork is full of little elements that are often overlooked at first glance, and a certain YouTube video delves into one of these hidden details—a musical score carefully printed on the buttocks of an agonized man.

The sheet music can be found in the bottom left of the third panel of the painting, which depicts sinners in Hell. The focus of this scene is a man lying flat on the ground as he is crushed by a giant lute. A large toad-like demon extends its barbed tongue towards the region where the notes are etched—a unique eternal punishment that makes one wonder what exactly he did in life to earn it.

The music was initially transcribed and recorded by a blogger named Amelia in 2014, who was kind enough to provide a piano recording of her playing it. Despite the dark subject matter of the painting, the song doesn't sound too haunting. This may be due to the fact that the song is written in C, which was a common key for chants of the 14th and 15th centuries when Bosch was painting the piece. Instead, the musical score sounds almost comforting at certain points, which makes Bosch's inclusion of it all the more surprising.

Ready to listen to this unusual backside music? Click here to fire up the video.

h/t: [Open Culture]

Related Articles:

Floating Parade Brings the Eccentric Art of Hieronymus Bosch to Life

Interactive Online Exhibit Explores Intricate Details of Bosch’s Famous Painting

Surreal Creatures from Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ Come to Life as Festive Piñatas

Who Was Hieronymus Bosch? Learn More About the Artist Behind ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’

Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
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