Hieronymus Bosch's “Haywain” was a turning point in the secularization of religious art

By Nina Siegal
The “Haywain Triptych” is the centerpiece of an exhibition of 16th-century Dutch and Flemish art running until Jan. 17 that focuses on the crude and often comedic aspects of daily life in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.
NETHERLANDS---Five hundred years ago, a cheeky Roman Catholic artist from the Dutch town of ’s-Hertogenbosch revolutionized the triptych, the three-panel altarpiece form traditionally used for scenes of virgins, cherubs and saints. In his “Haywain Triptych” of 1515, Hieronymus Bosch instead painted in ordinary sinners — murderers, whores, quacks and errant clergymen — being escorted toward Hell by a weird parade of rodent-faced demons and fish-shaped devils. The “Haywain” — or hay wagon — was an important turning point in the secularization of religious art, Mr. Lammertse said. [link]