The right hand panel portrays Hell. Although still filled with the same general themes, gone are the sensations of optimism and innocence that were seen in the first two panels, replaced instead by a dark and menacing background, filled with ruinous buildings and shrouded in smoke. As the eye travels into the piece across shattered battlefields and towards the foreground, the infernal world comes to life. Once again the environment teems with life, although now the figures take on a decidedly sinister appearance. Animals are replaced with demons, trees with baroque torture devices and the human figures are now tortured and terrified. In an interesting detail, the nude humans, although brazen in their appearances previously, many now attempt to cover themselves, as if shamed. Pierced by blades and tortured by animals, the human figures now suffer for their hubris.
The center figure is the “tree-man,” with a classically painted face and an utterly inhuman body. Gazing beyond the viewer, it is the only element of the piece that really breaks out of the painted environment. It has been suggested that it is a self-portrait of Bosch, but nothing conclusive has been found.
grip tape included
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