Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Started a new sketchbook a few days ago, as usual with painting the covers. This character was done after Hieronymus Bosch's Adoration of the Magi, which sports not three, but four wise men! This is the odd one out: this guy is thought of as to represent a false prophet from the Old Testament, but nothing is certain. His leg is clamped in a relic holder, as to show a coin-shaped wound on this leg. We don't know why it is shaped like that, but in the late Gothic era leg wounds were generally associated with sin. One would have been bitten by a hound of Hell, so to speak and so this shady character flaunts his sins. In the literal sense, a thief for instance may have been arrested and shackled for some time, the iron chains causing wounds or even gangreen on the ankles.
The high numbers of crippples then make sense, but you always have the feeling of missing out on a lot in Bosch's paintings.