Real birds in Hieronymus Bosch’s fantastic paintings


Little owl, Bosch, Garden of earthly delights

This picture shows a little owl, by famous painter Hieronymus Bosch. It is in his painting The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Little owl, Hieronymus Bosch

This photo shows a little owl as well. In Bosch’s painting The Wayfarer.

Hieronymus Bosch, The Wayfarer

That little owl, like many other animals in Bosch’s work, is a little detail in a painting full of little details.

We saw these owls on 8 July 2016, when we were in the natural history museum in Tilburg, the Netherlands.

The Tilburg exhibition on animals in Bosch’s works did not show the original works of art. These had been earlier this year in the exhibition in Den Bosch; and are now in the exhibition in the Prado museum in Madrid.

The Tilburg exhibition had reproductions of Bosch’s paintings. And also many stuffed animals of species shown by Bosch. I think there was a mistake in these stuffed animals: they included a North American black bear. A species not known to Bosch as far as I know. The bears in Bosch’s work are European brown bears; not present among the stuffed animals in the exhibition.

Why did Bosch depict so many animals? We cannot be sure. As far as we know, Bosch never wrote about his work. Many animals in Bosch’ age were used as symbols, eg of sinful or good human qualities: eg, peacocks for vanity. The catalogue of the exhibition says that many of these late medieval-early Renaissance symbolic meanings have become lost and are unclear now.

Did Bosch agree 100% with what his contemporaries thought about symbolic meanings of animals? Maybe he did not agree 100%. His works show signs of non-conformism. In west European medieval social thought, the clergy were the first estate. The nobility was the second estate. Town-dwelling bourgeois, like Bosch in Den Bosch town, were the third estate.

Tradition said that bourgeois had to mind that they did not have as many rights as clergymen, kings, counts or barons (though more than peasant serfs). However, in his The Haywain, Bosch depicted the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and the pope as sinners who might end up in hell. He depicted a nun as a money-grabbing half pig, half human in The Garden of Earthly Delights. He depicted an armoured knight as a partly human, partly other mammal, partly bird being in hell in the same painting.

Art historian Marrigje Rikken recently wrote about images of animals between 1550 and 1630 becoming an art genre in themselves. In the dominant medieval view on art, artists worked mainly for the Roman Catholic church. They made art with religious subjects. Depicting animals could be a part of that, if it fitted in religious frameworks like the Garden of Eden or Noah’s Ark. In the sixteenth and seventeenth countries, certainly in the Low Countries, the link between artists, the Catholic church and the nobility became looser. According to Ms Rikken, there was a gradual change from earlier emblematic, symbolic depictions of animals in a religious framework to more scientific depictions; in which religion faded more and more into the background.

According to Rikken, the number of animals featured in works of art gradually increased. More and more, animals became subjects in themselves, not minor parts of religious depictions.

Was Hieronymus Bosch an early pioneer of this evolution, at least in some respects? Maybe; we don’t know for sure. He did depict many hundreds of animals. The emblematic-religious framework was still there. We may never know whether Bosch was a true believer in it. Or whether it was convenient for him as a pretext for painting or drawing animals which he loved for its own sake.

There are four types of animals in Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings. Autochthonous west European animals which Bosch knew well. Exotic animals new for west Europeans; like giraffes. And two kinds of fantasy animals. Animals which traditionally were supposed to exist, like unicorns and griffons. And animals which were products of Bosch’s own imagination; often half one animal species, half another species.

In the rest of this blog post we will confine ourselves to real animals; especially non-exotic birds; in The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Spoonbills, Hieronymus Bosch

Like these real spoonbills behind the bathing women.

Spoonbills on goat, Hieronymus Bosch

And these two real spoonbills on the back of a real goat, walking behind fantastic animals.

White storks and barn owl, Hieronymus Bosch

And these two white storks on a pig’s back. With above them, a real barn owl sitting on an ‘unreal’ unicorn’s horn. Another proof that Bosch knew the differences between various owl species.

Hooded crow, Hieronymus Bosch

And finally, this hooded crow. A species which used to be common in the Netherlands in winter; but is rare there now.

There will be more on this blog about that Hieronymus Bosch exhibition. So, stay tuned!

United States Democratic chair resigns in anti-Sanders sabotage scandal


This video from the USA says about itself:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Resigns, Sanders Fans React

Cenk Uygur announces that Debbie Wasserman Schultz has resigned as the head of the Democratic National Committee at a TYT meet up in Philadelphia.

From United States Representative Alan Grayson from Florida:

Weaponizing religion

A couple of weeks ago, my Communications Director asked me whether I had dual citizenship with Israel. I told him no. And I well recalled that a few months ago, Democratic Party operatives spread the same rumor about Bernie Sanders – and had it sprung on Sen. Sanders, without warning, on national TV.

Your party dollars, at work. Those flaks and hacks have no clue about how to defeat Republicans, but they sure do love that blue-on-blue action.

Blue is the colour of the Democratic party.

They even go so far as to weaponize religion. Like asking whether Bernie Sanders and I are dual citizens with Israel, because we are Jewish. Or planting a question to try to make it seem that Sanders is an atheist, as we found out that they did from WikiLeaks yesterday.

Oy gevalt. God forbid that we should ever have a debate on what’s best for the American people.

Don’t let these scummy party flaks and hacks get away with it. Contribute to our campaign so that we can blow past these cheap attacks, and put another good progressive in the US Senate.

Here’s another example from Wikileaks: Democratic Party operatives tried to plant the story that the Sanders campaign was falling apart. And – lo and behold! – we had exactly the same story planted against us last year, because two campaign staffers left the campaign and one shifted to part-time – over the course of four months!

One reporter told me that he was getting five calls a day from my “Democratic” opponent’s staff, dishing dirt on me. Starting a year ago. (The word “Democratic” is in scare quotes because my primary opponent is really a Republican masquerading as a Democrat – a fact that our corrupt party Establishment actually embraces.)

Of course, the party’s brutal interference in our race isn’t limited to disseminating lies. They’re spending a cool million dollars to try to defeat us – even though we’re doing better in the November polls than the callow tool who they’re desperately trying to drag across the finish line.

It comes down to this – whose party is it? I say that it’s Ours, not Theirs. Are you with me?

Our primary is barely a month away. Please contribute to our “It’s Our Party” fund, and help us to victory.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

Gay Pride and homophobia in Israel


This video says about itself:

Murdered Shira Banki, 16, Plays Piano During Concert

3 August 2015

Israeli girl Shira Banki dies of stabbing at Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade

Girl, 16, who was stabbed at Jerusalem Gay Pride march dies from her wounds

High school student Shira Banki, 16, was one of six people wounded in the assault on Thursday. Lost her fight for life at Hadassah hospital, spokesman Hadar Elboim said. Hadar Elboim of Hadassah hospital said she succumbed to her wounds on Sunday and that her organs will be donated.

Suspect Yishai Shlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, was arrested at the scene. Stabbed three people at the same event in 2005 and was recently released from jail.

Police have come under fire for not keeping him under surveillance as he had been released from prison only weeks earlier.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In Jerusalem, an estimated 25,000 people from the gay community and their supporters march for the annual Gay Pride. Because of the attack last year in which a 16-year-old girl was murdered, the security measures are enormous. Thus, 2000 cops have been deployed and all participants, journalists and even security guards were checked.

Gay Pride is partly dedicated to Shira Banki, who was stabbed to death last year by an ultra-orthodox homophobe. He also injured then seven other persons. Banki’s parents have encouraged people to come to the march, and to lay flowers in memory of their daughter.

The LGBT parade also wants people to reflect on the diminishing tolerance for non-heterosexuals in Israel. Especially in Jerusalem homosexuals have difficult lives because the Orthodox Jewish community grows there. Mayor Nir Barkat is therefore not present at the parade; he says that would be too much against “sensitivities” in orthodox and right-wing groups in his city. …

A number of rabbis from Jerusalem do support the protesters, though the bulk of the clergy turned against the Gay Pride in a livid way.

Two gay men demonstratively exchanged marriage vows at the start of the Gay Pride. Hundreds of people cheered and photographed the men.

Another attack prevented?

Police in Jerusalem yesterday and today arrested twelve people who may have violent plans against the Gay Pride. Two detainees had knives on them, Israeli media report.

The homophobe of last year’s attack is said to have planned another attack. He will be questioned about that at the prison where he is serving a life sentence. The man’s brother was arrested; possibly the plan was that he would carry out the attack.

Dutch televangelist orders devotees to break with family, friends


Dutch televangelist David Maasbach

David Maasbach is a Dutch Pentecostalist fundamentalist Christian televangelist. On Sundays, he preaches on SBS6 TV network. He inherited a religious business empire from his father Johan Maasbach. The million euro empire includes nine churches in the Netherlands, two in Brazil and one in Switzerland.

The ‘Reverend’ Maasbach calls himself The One Anointed by the Lord, a July 20-6 report by Robin de Wever in the Netherlands says. He preaches that the Last Judgment is near. In these our times, when the End is at hand, Satan is extremely active. The devil tries to undermine obedience to The One Anointed by the Lord, to Maasbach. Even the smallest criticism of Maasbach is supposedly proof that the critic is a tool of Satan.

Robin de Wever interviewed seven ex-Maasbach devotees, who all confirmed that it is Maasbach’s policy that his followers should break with their family and friends; as Maasbach’s cult-like empire is suppossedly their True Family. Eg, Marcel van Dam used to make videos for Maasbach’s empire. When his mother became ill, he wanted to spend less time on the videos as he wanted to care for his mother. David Maasbach considered that rebellion against Jesus and The One Anointed by the Lord. In a sermon, with Van Dam present, he warned against Satan, naming Van Dam as influenced by the devil. Later, Maasbach expelled Van Dam; meaning that people still in the church were banned from talking or any other form of contact with Marcel van Dam.

American religious fundamentalist threatened to murder scientist Stephen Hawking


This video says about itself:

24 September 2014

The renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has labeled himself as an atheist, clearly stating that he doesn’t believe God exists at all.

Hawking reportedly made the announcement in an interview at the start of the Starmus Festival taking place at Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

El Mundo, a Spanish newspaper, was able to get an exclusive interview with Hawking and headlined the story with the scientist’s statement about his beliefs.

Hawking is quoted in the interview saying: “What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.”

But this isn’t the first time that Hawking has mentioned his lack of faith in a divine higher power.

In his book entitled The Grand Design, he says that the laws of science are in place and do not require a creator to have started everything.

Hawking has also previously said he doesn’t believe in heaven or an afterlife.

When asked in the interview if he thought space exploration was a good thing to invest billions of dollars in, he said that colonizing other planets might be humanity’s only hope for insurance of our long-term survival.

From daily El Pais in Spain:

US woman held in Tenerife for death threats against Stephen Hawking

“I am right next to you and I can kill you,” read one of the messages sent by the suspect, who traveled to the Spanish island to be near her target

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1 JULY 2016 – 16:55 CEST

Spanish police have arrested an American woman for issuing death threats against the astrophysicist Stephen Hawking at a science event on the island of Tenerife.

The 37-year-old suspect was detained in the municipality of Arona, on the most populous of the Canary Islands, on Wednesday – the same day that Hawking delivered his first lecture at the Starmus International Festival.

The woman, who has no prior record and had traveled to Tenerife by herself, could be facing a six-month prison sentence and immediate deportation for harassment and issuing serious threats against the famous scientist, legal sources told the Efe news agency.

The same sources said that one of the cosmologist’s children alerted authorities after detecting over 100 threatening messages on Twitter and in e-mails on Tuesday. The messages contained sentences such as “I am going to kill him.” …

Police investigators who searched her hotel room found a collection of esoteric items linked to religious extremism and contrary to Hawking’s theories denying the existence of God. They also found notes and documents detailing the scientist’s residence and workplace, and notebooks outlining precise plans on how to approach her target.

Hawking’s Wednesday address had attracted long lines of people at the science and arts festival. The astrophysicist arrived on stage flanked by two members of the Spanish National Police, an unusual sight that caused some alarm among members of the audience. Outside the venue, other officers checked visitors’ bags.

That same day, the police arrested the alleged stalker at a hotel located very near the festival venue, the Pirámide de Arona, which contains one of the biggest auditoriums in Europe.

The woman had apparently been issuing threats against Hawking for years, but the situation got out of hand in recent days, when the threats proliferated over e-mail an in the social media.

“I am going to kill you.” read one of the messages. “I am right next to you and I can kill you,” said another.

The e-mails included specific plans to end the scientist’s life, the police said.

According to this source, the suspect is 41 years old.

According to La Opinión de Tenerife, the suspect is Jenny Theresa C. These names sound Christian to me. If the suspect would have had a Muslim name like Fatima, then probably she would have been all over the Murdoch and other corporate merdia, not just in this Canary Islands local paper.