Being in the Globe: Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights at the Fringes of Modern Globalism

  • Simon Ferdinand
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Globalization, Culture and Society book series (PSGCS)


Modern cultures are permeated by representations of the earth as a measurable and malleable globe. To interrupt this dominant imagination of the global, this chapter reaches back to an early modern vision of the world depicted in Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch’s so-called Garden of Earthly Delights. It analyses Garden’s exterior panels, which present the world as a horizontal landscape contained within a spherical globe, in conjunction with Tim Ingold’s account of how the global is perceived today. For Ingold, subjects are split between situated experiences of a flat surrounding horizon and prevailing visions of earth as a distanced globe. In combining horizontal and global perspectives, Garden encapsulates this account. However, whereas Ingold affirms situated existence against estranged global overviews, Bosch’s art blocks recourse to place-based dwelling. In his Christian worldview, all earthly existence—whether grasped through individual places or as the whole globe—is spiritually estranged from God.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Ferdinand
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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