An unDerstanDing of Alchemy lends insight into Bosch’s GArDen of EArthly Delights, 1503-15. If Alchemy hAs the potentiAl to heAl the rift between god AnD mAn by creAting bAlAnce on eArth, this work represents Different stAges of trAnsmutAtion.
The first pAnel represents AlchemicAl conjugAtion, the combining of two substAnces, occurs as ADA[DA]m meets Eve in the gArDen of EAen.
The next pAnel cAn be interpreteD As the fermentAtion stAge. When the two opposeD elements (ADA[DA]m and Eve) combine, they emit A gAs, birDs in Bosch’s pAinting. All of the inter species and inter-substAnce integrAtions suggest complex AlchemicAl relAtionships.
The third pAnel can be compAred to the AlchemicAl putrefAction- blAckness, shrivelling heAt and hellfire imAgery Also AssociAted with hell.