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Unfortunately, the painting “The Magician” by the Flemish artist Jerome Bosch has not been preserved. Today you can only admire copies of this work. The most accurate of them is recognized as the work, which is located in the museum of the city of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
The date of writing the original is also unknown, only presumably referring to Bosch's early work. Clumsy figures and violation of the prospective reduction corresponding to the immaturity of the master correspond to this.
The painting is an example of eternal satire, reminiscent of how blind faith and stupidity destroy people. The plot of this scene has two interpretations. Some researchers call the warning about fraudsters and reproach to those fools who are ready to believe the cunning and deft crooks. Near the chipped stone wall, a magician and curious onlookers settled down.
On the table are the improvised means of a charlatan fooling a gullible public. It is not immediately possible to distinguish a frog at the left edge of the table, over which one of the spectators bowed in amazement. The magician had just convinced him and the rest of the audience that she magically jumped out of the man's mouth. Thus, having completely captured the attention of the crowd, the charlatan gives the chance to another rogue or, perhaps, his own partner to empty the pockets of the simpletons. Theatrical deception is expressed by the symbols of an owl - a prototype of devilish machinations, and dogs in a jester costume.
Others trace in the extraction of the frog an appeal to the church rite of exorcism. From this point of view, “The Magician” is not just a humorous scene, but a mockery of the clergy, like a fake wizard, fooling the heads of parishioners.
Often, “Magician” is regarded as a satire on magicians-crooks and stupid open-minded, ready to trust any crook. In extracting the frog, art historians have put forward the assumption of ridiculing the church rite of exorcism.
The picture takes on an anti-religious protest, it becomes a parody of clergymen fooling naive parishioners. This version is reinforced by the dress of a magician, reminiscent of a cardinal cassock, and the outfit of a thief - a Dominican monk.
Minin's appeal to Nizhny Novgorod Picture