Before the fall and after

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Oct 10 2021

Tags: , , ,

Category: Europe, Italy

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I saw this little picture hanging on the wall of a house in Italy. It depicts the life of man before and after the fall. In the centre, the idyllic existence in the Garden of Eden is about to come to an end with Eve presenting to Adam the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We all know the story.

The image dates probably from the 19th century. In paradise, Adam and Eve didn’t know shame as yet. Still, abundant hair and leafy twig are called for to hide their sex. Forebode of their future state or rather 19th century prudery?

Having lost immortality after their expulsion from paradise the painting depicts the different stages in the life of man from birth till death. Indeed life of man, woman hardly counts. She is subservient to man and not regarded as an independent being. Thus young man encounters girl, marries her and after she has given birth to their children she disappears from the scene.

Only after a prolonged decay man finally faces death at the age of 100. Rather old for the 19th century! From Homo Deus in the Garden of Eden he became Homo Sapiens after the fall and seems to be already well on his way to the immortality of the new Homo Deus of the future.

Photo of the week: Painting in a house at Baratti, Tuscany, Italy 2020

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