The Garden of Earthly Delights Puzzle

As you might know, Hieronymus Bosch painted this center panel of a triptych in 1504. The triptych illustrates the history of the world and progression of sin. When you looka at the center panel, The Garden of Earthly Delights is depicted here. It illustrates a world deeply engaged in sinful pleasures. But, someone made a mistake here! In an attempt to hide another famous icon of the 1500’s, the mistake took place. Typical of the sort of challenge we see, what is that mistake I was talking about? Can you spot it? Looking forward to hear your answers! Click on the image for larger verison.

88 Replies to “The Garden of Earthly Delights Puzzle”

  1. if you look there are tree black figures that have no features at all, kind of like shadows two have apples on their heads the one in the middle has a shadow of an apple but no apple. the figures are placed bottom of picture #1 on the left #2 on the right #3 is in the middle just above the the guy kissing the bird, sitting in the blue whatever that is

  2. Comming from a book illustration background, Bosch didn’t quite get the perspective right compared to other painters (mainly due to habit or choice, than lack of skill, I think). They did this because distorting the perspective made it easier to fit a complex scene into a small place.

    Not sure if this is the right answer, though. But a good renaissance painter sure say so!

  3. I think it represents the map of the world (at 1500 amyway) :) Ther is the mistake: map it is not what they where thinking at that time (take a look at India on the right side of the picture)

  4. are u sure there’s a mistake for this because u dont know if the painter meant on doin this lol!!i only saw the head replaced wit a blue sphere

  5. i see an eyeball at the lower left hand corner made up of the crystal ball/bubble thing and the red feathery thing and the lacy thing (I have no idea)

  6. I can see a big giant A…but it has no line across so it’s more like an ^ i can also see two shaded people all in black and a person with a giant clam on there back…

  7. The clothed figure in the right hand corner is the madonna in the mona lisa. The mistake is that the artist has her looking the wrong way.

  8. there is a person on the lower right hand corner with clothing! none of the others have any clothing on what so ever! i think it’s a man, but it’s hard to tell!

  9. someones getting eaten by a clam?! i dont know if anybody else has noticed that but it is really bizarre, well so is evrything else in this picture!

  10. I’ve compared it with the version without the mistake (or at least what I think is the version without the mistake), and I can’t find any differences, exept that some object wich are orange in the other one are red in this one, and that might just be due to disscoloration.

  11. Does it relate to the serpent by the tree of knowledge between good and evil?
    It’s hard to see the detail, except for a human or human like head.

    Is it a clue to mention that the painting was created about 1504, while the Reformation began Oct 31 1517?

  12. I’ll come out with it:
    The Copus Christi or “body of Christ” is hidden in the picture.
    The structures that represent the
    stigmata of Christ’s hands are not in the correct position
    The procession of people around the circle are either a crown of thorns or a halo, assuming that isn’t what the round body of water is. That it also looks like a communion wafer is probably not a coincidence.

  13. By the time this picture was drawn, it was still believed that the Earth is FLAT, whereas in the picture the Earth is shown as spherical.

  14. I believe lisalotte had the right answer. The Corpus Christi is hidden, it is made up from the volume of water, with the legs at the top of the picture and the head as the pool at the centre. However, the stigmata are not positioned in the wrong place as the are not stigmata, simply divine wounds: the structures at the ‘hands’ and ‘feet’ are stigmata wounds, the central structure is believed to be symbolic of the spear wound inflicted when Jesus was emplaced on the crucifix.

    I do try my best to educate the readers of this website, you may realise I post fairly often…

  15. Thank you, Bob B.
    As for the alleged sexual act, it isn’t in this painting. I can see why you would think it was – the painting is rather sensual (Garden of Earthly Delights no less)You need to look closely to see the subtext.
    Only William Hogarth come to mind as a painter taking a more conservative stand about societal norms than the usual populace.

  16. there is a person to the left of the painting about 2/3 of the way up who is standing on their head (or whatever). that person only has one leg

  17. JKC

    The new artist painted a red TP over a few people in an effort to cover the identity. I dont think in the 1500s we new Indians existed.

  18. guys, i really am not sure on the ” hidden ” message…i believe it very well ma be Biblical…but some of u are wrong.there are four black figures in the pic…two in the center,can only see the head.

  19. Bob B is right, but I think the mistake is that if you see the upside-down body of Christ, then it really appears that the tower is his erection, which is quite a glaring error for a painting like this…

    1. Hey i just noticed this. If you look about two inches in from the bottom right of the picture, it looks like the couple is performing oral sex :p HAHA

  20. I think the big owl thats towards the bottom, i think it looks like its trying to cover up what someone tried to make like one of those hindo gods or w/e the one with all those arms and legs.

  21. Well i see a whole lot of things that could be wrong.
    like how the rivers joining and forming limbs with the head sort of floating with no neck. Or the angel in the top right with a huge apple as if it were to give it to mankind to sin.

  22. Well… it’s fantasy style picture. but what stands out for me is the two tower structures to the front of the lake. If you look at there place in the picture and what should be the natural water level you can see an anomaly…

  23. Inside the tent? You can clearly see that people are watching in awe, but A tent like that surely would have had only one entrance. Maybe some sort of coitus is taking place? A friend of mine actually has this painting in her apartment. A reprint, no doubt. But still an amazing piece of art.

  24. I have no idea what to even look for or where to look for “it”.

    Some of these illusions are easy. Others aren’t. You need to include straight forward answers to each “illusion” if you want people to get it.

    This isn’t the first or only “illusion” without an explanation. Post the answer under the image so people can look at the answer or not.

  25. I’d guess that it is the Martin Luther in the bottom corner.

    However, this picture seems to be a multiple optical illusion. Seen from far away, it looks like a depiction of Dante’s Inferno…but turned upside-down, it looks like a depiction of the Crucifixion though with “JVCO” or maybe “JCVO” replacing “INRI”.

  26. I agree with the person that asked for answers to the illusion , so we know if we are right or close, lol . Some are harder than others.

  27. Well all the black people have apples above their heads buy there is a white lady at the front with cherries above her head.

  28. Perhaps it’s the GIANT rodent looking creature … just below the pool… at the bottom center right…. taking a poop!

    But considering the total (piece of art?) that was prob. planed!!!!

  29. i can’t see anything less weird as the picture presents itself already weird.

    BUT: i can’t help myself ….

    WHY does this picture remind me of the last page of an MAD magazine?

    i wish i would have a foldable lcd screen

  30. this is driving me crazy. I can’t see anything “iconic” that is missing from the original. Do you ever post the answer to the illusion?

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