I. Bosch most of his works wrote on the subject of the life of the saints, often used biblical scenes. The artist did not use etudes so popular in his time. Often depicted the creation of a miracle or painful death, such pictures aroused enthusiasm among the people of the Middle Ages. Bosch was attracted to quiet storylines that reflected spirituality and deep philosophical meaning.
The painting “Holy hermits” displays hermits who are attached to their thoughts on the background of nature. All pictures show the principles of living in the path “Imitation of Christ.” Three plot very complex with many details. Here and humility, and the temptation of female flesh. Holiness and sinful thoughts are intertwined, and, as you know, it is already a sin to think about sin.
The picture was created after reading the “Book of the Highest Truth.” This mystical work influenced the artist’s worldview and served as an inspiration for creating a pictorial masterpiece. Cloth displays the degree of arrival to the highest truth. On the central image, St. Jerome looks at the crucifixion of Christ in search of salvation in him. Around him are the remnants of paganism and emotional confrontation, depicted in the form of two mated monsters.
The artist portrayed him unconventionally, moving away from the image of an old man. The saint prays in the remnants of paganism that have not yet disappeared. The left side displays the image of St. Anthony. He is tempted by a naked woman, and around her demons. Such an image of temptation very accurately conveys the carnal desires of an ordinary person.
For the artist, this particular saint was the closest. Saint Anthony spent a lot of time in the desert. He resists the temptation, and the glow of the burning village illuminates the sin followers more and more.
The right side of the work reflects the life of Saint Aegius. He is comfortably seated in a cave and prays. A saint with an arrow sticking out of his chest. This image was traditional, he closed his beloved deer. Saint Aegius guards all the poor and poor. It is with his help that sins are released.