European Art
Artist: Hieronymus Bosch, Netherlandish, ca. 1450–1516

An Allegory of Intemperance

ca. 1495–1500

Oil on panel

unframed: 34.9 × 31.4 × 1.6 cm (13 3/4 × 12 3/8 × 5/8 in.)
Gift of Hannah D. and Louis M. Rabinowitz
This painting is a fragment: along with the Ship of Fools (Musée du Louvre, Paris), it formed the left wing of a triptych (now dismantled). Together, the paintings symbolize Gluttony, one of the seven deadly sins. The right wing of the triptych, Death and the Miser (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), embodies Avarice. The missing central panel most likely represented the remaining sins, Pride, Envy, Lust, Anger, and Sloth. Hieronymus Bosch’s unique imagery combined fantastical creatures, visual puns, and representations of proverbs to symbolize vice and its dangerous consequences. His powerful moral allegories were in demand throughout Europe, though their complex iconography may not always have been fully understood.
Made in The Netherlands
On view
16th century

Clary Collection (Christie's sale, London, 11 May 1928, no. 31); Galerie Malmedè, Cologne; Keulen; E. and A. Silberman Galleries, New York, NY; Rabinowitz Collection, Sands Point, Long Island.


Artists on Art: Observations by Yale Faculty on Selections from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1999), 16–19, ill.

Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 134–35, 156, fig. 132.

John Varriano, Wine: A Cultural History, exh. cat. (London: Reaktion Books, 2010), 135, no. 60, ill.

Charles Seymour, “Louis Mayer Rabinowitz,” Bulletin of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale University 23 (September 1957): 11–12, fig. 1.

Edna Perkel, An Exhibition of Paintings: for the Benefit of the Research Fund of Art and Archaeology, The Spanish Institute, Inc., exh. cat. (New York: E. and A. Silberman Galleries, Inc., October 12–November 1, 1955), 20, no. 8, ill.

Noordbrabants Museum, Jheronimus Bosch: Visioenen van een genie, exh. cat. (’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands: Fonds Mercator, February 13–May 8, 2016), 20–21, 22 (detail), no. 3, ill.

Pilar Silva Maroto, ed., Bosch: The 5th Centenary Exhibition, exh. cat. (Madrid: Museo del Prado, 2016), 292–301, no. 38, ill.

This work appears on our "Artworks with Nazi-Era Provenance Documentation Gaps" page.
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.