When it comes to dark arts, nobody can match the monsters and hellish dreamscapes of Hieronymus Bosch (1453-1516) for sheer gruesomeness. It used to be believed that the Dutch legend's compositions of the grotesque were inspired by medieval heresy and obscure hermetic practices, but art historians have shown that the nightmarish landscapes Bosch is famous for only reflect the widespread religious beliefs of his time. Frankly, I find the latter explanation much creepier, what with all these ghastly shapes existing only to inflict eternal suffering and there being no scientific alternative at the time to battle this grim prognosis.
That said, very little is known about Bosch's life and his views regarding art in general, but there is some speculation that his paintings were really made to amuse and titillate the public. If this is true, then Bosch was really a horror meister in the exact sense that we use today. I realize some people from the academia would vehemently dispute this statement on the grounds that there is nothing artistic about horror movies, but then again, anyone who tries to adapt a Bosch painting to the big screen would most assuredly get a flick responsible for a nightmare or two. Just remember how the dark comedy In Bruges uses Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights in the final act to produce a pitch black take on life, and then try to stretch this notion to a full movie.
So, if you like to see more of Bosch, check out the video attached below, or go to the Hieronymus Bosch paintings gallery to view the master's complete paintings.