Bosch Oil Paintings Terrifyingly Come to Life in VR


Sitting in our office with a Google Cardboard pressed against my face, I find myself straddling a floating fish, overlooking a flowing river surrounded by a lush green landscape. Slowly descending towards the surface, my attention is soon fixed on a surreal white giraffe eating fruit from a tree and winged animals that squawk and look like some fantastic version of a penguin. I further pass a suspicious looking rabbit and a lion casually striding with prey in his mouth, ending up in front of what looks to be God presenting Eve to Adam.


That’s what experiencing the left panel of “The Garden of Earthly Delights” triptych by visionary artist Hieronymus Boshch’s in virtual reality is like.

This dream-like first-person Google Cardboard VR experience is the latest app to celebrate the 500th anniversary of one of the world’s great surrealist paintings. Bosch VR explores each panel of The Garden of Earthly Delights through separate virtual reality rides – with the first more tame panel being free to download in the app store. The final panel brings you to hell, so brace yourself for that one.


Bosch VR was developed by creative agency BDH in collaboration with the Bosch 500 festival that takes place in the artist’s Netherlands hometown of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. A public installation of Bosch VR will be setup at the festival starting March 1st for attendees to get the full 360° experience.


Exploring art through VR seems to be getting more and more popular. Just last month we saw a Salvador Dali painting brought to life in VR, bringing an entirely new perspective to these centuries old masterpieces. The wild dream worlds of Bosch, with its range of oddities and variety of depicted meanings, it is great to addition to this convergence of VR and art.


Bosch VR is free to download for both iOS and Google Play, but be sure you get out your Google Cardboard viewer for this one. If you don’t have a Cardboard viewer, there’s also a non-VR iPad version. The first panel of the triptych, Eden, is available for free; the other two can be unlocked through a $3.99 in-app purchase. In-app Cardboard purchasing always surprises me and i’ll probably have to write about that at a later time, but for now if you want to go straight to hell, get purchasing.

Images courtesy of the artist.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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