Cutting the Stone  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Extraction of the Stone of Madness (The Cure of Folly) (Dutch: De Keisnijding) is a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, completed between 1475 and 1480.

The painting depicts the extraction of the stone of madness, a "keye" (in English a "stone" or "bulb") from a patient's head, using trepanation by a man wearing a funnel hat. In the painting Bosch has exchanged the traditional "stone" as the object of extraction with the bulb of a flower. Another flower is on the table. The inscription reads, "Meester snyt die Keye ras - myne name is lubbert das" (Master, cut away the stone – my name is Lubbert Das). Lubbert Das was a comical (foolish) character in Dutch literature.


It is possible that the flower is a pun on "tulip head" - meaning mad in Netherlands. Another possibility is that the flower hints that the doctor is a charlatan as does the funnel hat. The woman balancing a book on her head is thought by Skemmer to be a satire of the Flemish custom of wearing amulets made out of books and scripture, a pictogram for the word phylactery. Otherwise, she is thought to depict folly.

Attributed works

This painting, and others by Bosch, were an inspiration to the works of the seminal Punk musicians Wire. On their album, "The Ideal Copy", they included a track titled "Madman's Honey" which included the lyric "master cut the stone out, my name is Lubbert Das" -- a direct reference to this Bosch painting.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Cutting the Stone" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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