Circles of Thorns
Unlike Bosch's better-known, fantastical, 'proto-surrealist' paintings, Christ Mocked is small, still and sombre, and yet, with a little effort of knowledge and interpretation, it reveals a depth of understanding of both the Passion, and of human nature, that speaks as much to the twenty-first century as it did to the sixteenth. By exploring the political, scientific, psychological and devotional world of early modern Europe, and applying those insights to our own time, the author shows how Bosch used his sophisticated artistic skills to convey a similarly sophisticated understanding of humanity. In Christ Mocked -- a painting 500 years old but passionately modern -- Christ's Passion is so portrayed as to make us reassess the cosmic significance of Christ's death, and its profound implications for what we think it means to be human.
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