The Study on Expulsion of Adam and Eve
Masaccio’s Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Earthly Paradise is a fresco located in the Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence, in the Brancacci Chapel, which was painted between 1424-1927. It focuses on Adam and Eve as they are being expelled by an angel. This painting is placed next to another of Masaccio’s paintings, Tribute Money. “By placing these two scenes next to one another, Masaccio (or the theologian responsible for designing the program) seems to draw a connection between the Fall of Man and subsequent salvation via the Catholic Church, symbolized by St. Peter.” (ItalianRenaissance.org).
In this piece, Adam is covering his face in sorrow while Eve covers her body and cries out. The angel is pointing them away from the Earthly Paradise. These poses reveal a lot about the scene that is unfolding as well as the way that artists at the time viewed and created poses and naturalness in their paintings. Masaccio painted Adam with his hands over his face, his head down and his body hunched slightly down. This allows the viewer to see the emotion that Adam must be feeling at the moment. Eve’s face is twisted in sorrow almost as if she is screaming out and asking why. Her body is seemingly contracting inwards as her head is thrown back in anguish, which shows the raw emotion that she is having at the moment. Both Adam and Eve’s pose is expressive like many of the poses we have been studying in the class. For example, Masaccio’s own “Holy Trinity” which is in the Santa Maria Novella, where every person is showing emotion like Mary who is looking out in disbelief at what has just happened to her son (Masaccio. Holly Trinity).
Looking closer at the way that Masaccio used hand placement within his paintings, we see that he has allowed the positioning of the hands of each charter to assist in bringing the story to life. Adam is clutching his face, which allows the viewer to sympathize with the way that he is feeling and gain a better understanding of the pain he is going through. Eve is covering her body, but the way that her hands are it seems as if she is weakened by emotion since her fingers look like they are not ridged and are separated slightly. When you look at both Adam and Eve’s hands you see the emotion that is coming from the punishment that they are receiving. The angel who is above them is holding a sword with one hand, and with the other is pointing. This is an interesting gesture since pointing can have a double meaning. The gesture of pointing can also have a double meaning, as we discussed in class, a person who is pointing one finger at someone or something is also pointing their fingers at themselves.
Eve’s eyes are squinting closed but looking slightly up possibly at the angel above them, while Adam’s eyes are covered by his hands. The Angel’s eyes are hard to distinguish but judging by the scene as well as the authority that the angel seems to have it seems as if they are wide as she is witnessing the reaction of both Adam and Eve who willingly did something they were forbidden to do yet are now reacting as if what is happening is a shock. This was the most challenging part of doing the poses because it was hard to capture the emotion that was expressed through Eve’s eyes since there is a lot being said through them, even though they are closed.
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Masaccio’s Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Earthly Paradise is a fresco located in the Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence, in the Brancacci Chapel, which was painted between […]