When I heard there was an original Hieronymus Bosch triptych, The Temptation of Saint Anthony, at Lisbon's Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, I felt a flutter in my belly. Somewhere around the age of eight, my mother gave me a collection of large art books on all sorts of artists. My favourites by far were Vincent Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, and John Singer Sargent— but there was this unpronounceable name which captivated my imagination with twisted bodies and impossible creatures, horrible, violent scenes painted elegantly with a sense of calm. I would easily spend what could have been hours, examining all the details of his work with a thrill.
Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch painter in the 1400s, whose highly symbolic paintings often illustrate religious concepts of sin and morality. I never imagined I'd actually see one of his triptychs—to finally stand in front of his colourful panels, was just such an immense feeling, I am struggling to find the words to describe it.