Some time ago, a friend and I were looking at some of Bosch’s artwork (The Garden of Earthly Delights and Hell, IIRC), and I made the statement that they looked like something an individual on drugs would produce.
My friend said something very thought-provoking. He said that Bosch might not have been on drugs, but he had the next best (or worst) thing: his monastic lifestyle as a religious or a secular religious. I asked him what he meant, and he replied, “Inadequate sleep; bad food; long hours of enforced isolation; improper maintenance of the body; no sexual outlet; intense fear of Divine judgement. Put that all together and it’d be enough to send anybody just a tad over the edge.”
I’d never thought about that before, but it seems to make sense. Since I am no expert on Bosch (or medieval Flemish painters of any type, for that matter), I thought I’d put it to the SD’ers: what do you think? Would Bosch’s austere lifestyle and goofy diet make him paint these bizarre pictures, or is my friend way out in left field? I mean, you also have guys like Francisco Goya, Edvard Munch, and Salvador Dali who painted some pretty strange stuff, but they didn’t have austere lifestyles, so what gives?