In his illuminating and always original text, Gary Schwartz, an art historian with an abiding interest in the cultural context of art and its reception, provides concise interpretations of every work, including commentary on many of the most extraordinary details for which Bosch is acclaimed. The question often asked about the remarkable artist who created the Gardens of Delights, The Haywain, the Temptation of St. Anthony and the Last Judgement is where he saw the stunning apparitions that fill his panels. As the author sees it, Bosch's strange images were not intended to be deciphered but, int he words of an admirer from his own century, "to confuse, worry and disturb" the viewer. They are meant to be pondered and discussed exactly because they are so weird. In this spirit, Gary Schwartz offers new interpretations of his own to spark discussion and stimulate the imagination of the reader. This singular book, published int he year of the 500th anniversary of Bosch's death, includes chapters on society, government and faith in mid-millennium Brabant. Everything is arranged for optimal ease of use, in clear sections with navigational aids. The brilliantly designed double-spreads makes sure that each opening tells a complete story. The clear language, accessible style, and beautiful reproductions makes this book essential for anyone interested in the life and art of Bosch.