Representations of the fall 2 artistic depictions of eve

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This presentation situates John Milton’s Paradise Lost in a cross-disciplinary, cultural discourse that engenders the Fall as feminine— …

This presentation situates John Milton’s Paradise Lost in a cross-disciplinary, cultural discourse that engenders the Fall as feminine—
a discourse that employs Eve as an agent for propelling negative stereotypes of women, and
one easily evidenced by considering the artistic depictions of her during the period.

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  • 1. Something in the way she moves… What seemed in thee so perfect, that I thought No evil durst attempt thee! but I rue That error now, which is become my crime, And thou th’ accuser. Thus it shall befall Him who, to worth in woman overtrusting, Lets her will rule… Paradise Lost, Book 9, lines 1179-84
  • 2. Michelangelo’s The Fall—The Sistine Chapel 1510, fresco painting
  • 3. Adam “turned his eyes from the morning light (which is God), and gave himself over to the fickle and dark desires of a woman, as to the evening twilight.” — Cardinal Marco Vigerio, theological advisor to Michelangelo
  • 4. Hendrik Goltzius  The Fall of Man 1616, oil
  • 5. Masolino Temptation of Adam and Eve 1425, fresco from Paradise Lost , Book 9 “ subtlest beast” “ wily snake” “ fit vessel” “ Thus her reply with accent sweet renewed” “ Into the heart of Eve his words made way” “ Thou therefore also taste, that equal lot May join us, equal joy as equal love”
  • 6. Hieronymus Bosch The Last Judgment The Original Sin , detail +1482, oil
  • 7. Hugo van der Goes  The Fall Of Adam 1480-2, oil Fixed on the fruit she gazed, which to behold Might tempt alone, and in her ears the sound Yet rung of his persuasive words, impregned With reason, to her seeming, and with truth… (Book 9, lines 735-9)
  • 8. 15th century Manuscript Illumination
  • 9. Lucas Cranach the Elder   Adam and Eve 1526, oil
    • knowing, crafty Eve
    • unknowing, vacant Adam
    • skin tone
    • animal imagery
    • grapevine imagery
    • serpent’s movement
      • downward
  • 10.
    • Cranach the Elder and Milton
    • “ Her husband…heroic built, though of terrestrial
    • mold… She fair, divinely fair, fit love for gods…”
    • (Book 9, lines 482-9)
    • “ Greedily she engorged without restraint,
    • And knew not eating death: satiate at length,
    • And heightened as with wine, jocund and boon…”
    • (Book 9, lines 791-4)
    • “ Carnal desire inflaming… in lust they burn”
    • (Book 9, lines 1013-5)
  • 11. Lucas Cranach the Elder   Adam and Eve 1528, oil
  • 12. Albrecht Altdorfer The Fall of Man 1535, oil
  • 13. Rembrandt’s The Fall 1638, pen drawing “Would thou hadst hearkened to my words, and stayed With me, as I besought thee, when that strange Desire of wandering…” “Was I to have never parted from thy side? As good have grown there still, a lifeless rib.” (Book 9, lines 1134-54)
  • 14. Albrecht Dürer Adam and Eve 1504, engraving “… leave not the faithful side That gave thee being, still shades thee and protects. The wife, where danger or dishonor lurks, Safest and seemliest by her husband stays, Who guards her…” (Book 9, lines 266-9)