Christ's Descent into Hell

Follower of Hieronymus Bosch Netherlandish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 613

Bosch’s fiery hell scenes were enormously popular throughout Europe in the sixteenth century, inspiring many imitators. A vast, desolate landscape with a burning city at the right and a bone-littered plain at the left is the setting for this nightmarish vision in which Christ breaks down the gates of hell to rescue the souls of the just. Gesturing in supplication toward him, Adam and Eve kneel on top of a ruined tower. Behind them, figures from the Hebrew Bible climb the winding stairs out of the depths of hell, among them Abraham and Isaac with the sacrificial ram and Noah with a model of the ark.

Christ's Descent into Hell, Follower of Hieronymus Bosch (Netherlandish, second quarter 16th century), Oil on wood

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