Death and the Miser (c.1485-1490)

Bosch, Hieronymus (c.1450-1516)

Death and the Miser
Oil on panel, 93 x 31 cm
National Gallery of ArtWashington

A naked man with ghostly white skin sits upright in a canopied bed set in a narrow room in this tall, vertical painting. Wearing a black cap, he looks to our left in profile toward a skeleton who comes through a door along the left edge of the composition. The man gestures at the skeleton with one hand and, with the other, toward a bag of money held up by a small demon next to the bed to our left. The skeleton wears a white shroud and holds an arrow. A winged angel kneels next to the man in the bed, one hand on the man’s shoulder and the other lifted to gesture at a crucifix hanging in the window over the door. A small devil on the canopy above looks down onto the bed. At the foot of the bed, a man wearing a green robe and headdress drops coins into a sack held by another demon. Three more demons crawl about and hide under the chest. Pieces of armor and weapons lie on the ground to the right in front of a stone ledge in the foreground. Two pieces of clothing drape over the ledge to our left. (NGA)