In the picture “Infernal river” from the top of a steep cliff to the sky beats a pillar of fire, and below, in the water helplessly flounder the souls of sinners. In the foreground – a sinner, if not yet repentant, then, at least, thoughtful. He sits on the shore, not noticing the demon with wings, which pulls his hand.
The Last Judgment is the main theme that goes through all the works of Bosch. He depicts the Last Judgment as a world catastrophe, a night illuminated by the flashes of hellfire, against which monstrous monsters torture sinners.
In the time of Bosch, clairvoyants and astrologers maintained that, before the second coming of Christ and the Last Judgment occur, the Antichrist will rule the world. Many then believed that this time had already come. Extremely popular was the Apocalypse – the Apocalypse of St. John the Evangelist, written during religious persecutions in ancient Rome, a vision of the terrible disasters that God will expose the world for the sins of people.
Everything will perish in the cleansing flame. To illustrate the Apocalypse appealed to many artists, such as Durer, but no one embodied the vision of the End of the World and the Afterlife so impressively as Hieronymus Bosch.