The Wayfarer is an oil on panel painting by Hieronymus Bosch, created between 1500 and 1502. It is currently exhibited at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. The work has a circular shape with a diameter of 71.5 cm (28.1 inches). Bosch is famous for his paintings with an odd, dream-like quality, which evoke disturbing images.
Originally part of a triptych, The Wayfarer is now presented as a standalone piece after being dismantled from the original structure. The painting depicts a lone traveler carrying a staff as he journeys through an ominous landscape filled with various creatures and symbols that hold allegorical meanings. Bosch’s masterful use of symbolism distinguishes his works and sets him apart from other artists of his time.
The figure of the wayfarer in this painting was later reworked in one of Bosch’s most renowned works, The Haywain Triptych. This suggests that the artist put great thought into his paintings and often revisited and developed ideas over time. Additionally, many of Bosch’s artworks are notable for their horrific imagery, particularly those portraying Hell and Judgment Day.