Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Expulsion, Masaccio 

This painting by Masaccio depicting the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden provides great commentary for history and the evolution of the perception of the body over time. Originally painted as nudes, Cosimo III de Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, ordered for the genitals of the Biblical characters to be covered with fig leaves. It was claimed to be a matter of decorum. In 1980, when the painting underwent restoration, the fig leaves were removed and Adam and Eve once again stood exposed. More life-like than many of the Romanesque sculptures we've seen, Adam and Eve are distinctly masculine and feminine creatures and not just discernible by looking below the waist. Adam's physique is a realistic, manly frame and musculature, more familiar than some of the exaggerated Greek pieces. And Eve's curvy, fleshy, feminine look lends itself to maternity, as is fitting for the mother of all peoples. Their bodies also work beautifully to display the anguish felt at their dismissal from Paradise. 

But, is it just me, when I say that Eve has a very creepy face? 

No comments:

Post a Comment