WTF Art History

6 Creatures by Hieronymus Bosch That Could Be Pokémon

Zuzanna Stańska 23 May 2022 min Read

Did you ever think about where the ideas for Pokémon could be coming from? Discover these six examples proving that in the 16th century Hieronymus Bosch caught ’em all and put them in his works, including the magnificent Garden of Earthly Delights from the Prado Museum in Madrid. See all the Pokémon that could be Bosch’s creatures!

1. Lugia

Lugia is an immense, draconian, mythical Pokémon with avian qualities. Known as the Guardian of the Seas, Lugia is tremendously intelligent and is very gentle with the life around it, despite its colossal size. Here it yawns and is a bit overweight.

pokemons bosch, Lugia

Lugia. Pokeserwis.

pokemons bosch, Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490-1500, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

Pokémon & Bosch: Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490–1500, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

2. Spheal

Spheal is a chubby, spherical, seal-like Pokémon with a short, flat tail. Although here painted in a sad mood, when happy or cheerful, for example when eating in a group, this Pokémon will clap its fins.

pokemons bosch, Spheal

Spheal. Pokemon.

pokemons bosch, Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490-1500, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

Pokémon & Bosch: Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490–1500, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

3. Shaymin

Shaymin is a small hedgehog-like Pokémon, and the smallest Mythical Pokémon to date. It is so small that it was even caught in a glass bowl by a group of random people (probably the 16th-century fans of the game).

pokemons bosch, Shaymin

Shaymin. Pokemon.

pokemons bosch, Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490-1500, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

Pokémon & Bosch: Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490–1500, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

4. Piplup

Piplup is a penguin-like Pokémon, who has a strong sense of self-pride. Because of its pride, it has a hard time accepting food from humans and bonding with its caretakers. It lives along the seashore in colder climates; that’s why the alter-ego of this Pokémon in Bosch’s painting is skating.

pokemons bosch, Piplup

Piplup. RDS.

pokemons bosch, Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490-1500, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

Pokémon & Bosch: Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490–1500, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

5. Mantine

Mantine is a large, manta ray-like Pokémon. It can fly in the air if it builds up enough speed, in a similar manner to how real-life manta rays breach the surface, and can soar gracefully out of the water. Mantine is mostly docile. In the 16th century its owner flew on its back with an owl on his head.

pokemons bosch, Mantine

Mantine. Pokemon.

pokemons bosch, Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490-1500, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

Pokémon & Bosch: Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490–1500, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

6. Psyduck

Psyduck is a Pokémon that resembles a duck or bipedal platypus. It is constantly stunned by its headache and is unable to think very clearly. This is why it sometimes eats random stuff, like frogs.

pokemons bosch, psyduck

Psyduck. Shop7.

pokemons bosch, Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490-1500, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

Pokémon & Bosch: Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1490–1500, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

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