Rise with hay by Hieronymus Bosch

Rise with hay by Hieronymus Bosch

Against the backdrop of the endless landscape, a cavalcade follows the huge rise with hay, among them the emperor and the pope. Representatives of other estates – peasants, townspeople, clerics and nuns – grab hold of a bunch of hay from a cart or fight for it. Behind the feverish human fuss, Christ, surrounded by a golden radiance, is indifferent and detached from above. Nobody, except praying at the top of the angel’s cart, notices neither the Divine presence, nor that the cart is attracted by demons.

The human race appears steeped in sin, completely rejected the divine institutions and

indifferent to the fate prepared for him by the Most High. The main attention is paid to one of the deadly sins – the pursuit of the blessings of the earth, that is, greed, the various hypostases of which are indicated by people moving around the cart and around it. The masters of the secular and the spiritual, following the cart in good order, do not interfere in the dump and the dispute for hay only because this hay and so belongs to them – they are guilty of the sin of pride.

Greed makes people lie and deceive: at the bottom left the boy leads a man in a kind of cylinder on his head, who pretends to be a blind man, extorting alms. The charlatan doctor in the center laid out his diplomas, bottles and a mortar on the table to impress the gullible victim; stuffed with straw pouch on his side indicates that the money made by unjust way, will not go on for the future. On the right, several nuns put hay in a sack under the supervision of a monk sitting at the table, whose voluminous belly indicates gluttony.

The loving couples on the top of the cart presumably embody the sin of lasciviousness, in something of the opposite of greed, for the pursuit of sensual pleasures involves more the waste of earthly goods than their saving and accumulation. We can note a certain “class distinction” between a pair of commoners kissing in the bushes and playing music lovers from a more refined society. All these details are designed to strengthen the main theme – the triumph of greed.

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