The subject of sin and its punishments was central to all of Bosch's art. Another famous triptych, the Haywain (c.1485-90; Prado, Madrid), contains a similar progression of sin, from Eden to hell, across its panels. In the central panel sin is represented through the metaphor of a large wagonload of hay for which a greedy world grasps. All the while, the wagon is being pulled by demons towards the right panel - which shows one of Bosch's earliest depictions of hell.
Photographs by Mark Harden.
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