February 24th, 2021


Bit o' Bosch: Saint Christopher Carrying the Christ Child

The problem with trying to talk about anything by Bosch is that I almost inevitably get distracted by each individual detail that it's hard to see the picture as a whole. Stuff like St. Christopher's anti-gravitational cloak, or the tiny dude climbing up into a pot balanced on the tip of a tree branch. The fish that's as big as a woman--or is the woman as small as the fish? Are St. Christopher and the Christ Child giants, or surrounded by pygmies? Maybe there's some sort of "seven-league-boots" deal going on.

What's really fun is clicking on through to the ginormous scan over on Wikipedia--and while I have many unfriendly thoughts about Google in general, I do greatly appreciate their graphics-card-meltingly high quality scans of various masterpieces, including a number by Bosch, because it lets you really appreciate some of the insane details in the background, like the naked dude running around in a field while a dragon crawls around in an abandoned castle. Also, that the tiny climbing dude has left his transparent shirt hung up to dry next to a hunk of meat stuck on a branch.

I want to climb inside this picture and just ... explore.