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Audio Stop 542

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A naked man with ghostly white skin sits upright in a canopied bed set in a narrow room in this tall, vertical painting. Wearing a black cap, he looks to our left in profile towards a skeleton who comes through a door along the left edge of the painting. The man gestures towards the skeleton with one hand and, with the other, towards a bag of money held up by a small demon next to the bed to our left. The skeleton wears a white shroud and holds an arrow. A winged angel kneels next to the man in the bed, one hand on the man’s shoulder and the other gesturing up towards a crucifix hanging in the window over the door. A small devil on the canopy above looks down onto the bed. At the foot of the bed, a man wearing a green robe and headdress drops coins into a sack held by another demon. Three more demons crawl about and hide under the chest. Pieces of armor and weapons lie on the ground to the right in front of a stone ledge in the foreground. Two pieces of clothing drape over the ledge to our left.

Hieronymus Bosch

Death and the Miser, c. 1485/1490

West Building, Main Floor - Gallery 41

This panel by Hieronymus Bosch shows us the last moments in the life of a miser, just before his eternal fate is decided. A little monster peeping out from under the bed-curtains tempts the miser with a bag of gold, while an angel kneeling at the right encourages him to acknowledge the crucifix in the window. Death, holding an arrow, enters at the left. Oppositions of good and evil occur throughout the painting. A lantern containing the fire of hell, carried by the demon atop the bed canopy, balances the cross emitting a single ray of divine light.

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