The Creation of the World and Expulsion from Paradise
- Pages: 4
- Word count: 789
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Giovanni Di Paolo’s painting “The Creation of the World and the Expulsion from Paradise” presents a subject that is both a combination of biblical representation and fifteenth century philosophy. It is biblical because the subject was based on the book of Genesis of the Bible wherein God was mentioned as the creator of the world and that God (represented at the far left) drove the formerly innocent and sinless (nakedness) first man and woman, Adam and Eve (represented at the far right), from the garden of Eden after eating the forbidden fruit. However, contrary to expectation, God was not shown here as being angry because of man’s disobedience but instead looked more of a guide to the two, and the two “sinners” were not depicted as sad or sorrowful but yielding and curious to God’s decision. On the other hand, the subject had a touched of fifteenth philosophy because of the globe, representing the universe, drawn at the center of the scene. The prevalent belief of fifteenth century (medieval and Renaissance cosmology) was that God created the world with the earth as the center surrounded by concentric circles representing sun and other planets( “Giovanni” 2006). Of course, it is scientifically proven that earth is not the center of the universe but the sun.
The dominant colors of the painting are blue and yellow. God’s robe, seraphim and the sky above were all colored blue. Blue color means heaven and truth a fitting description of God and the seraphim who are heavenly beings embodied with truth (Dudley173-176). The sky above Adam and Eve is colored blue reminding the viewer that they are still paradise, a heaven on earth. In other paintings, the area surrounding both Adam and Eve were colored black signifying their spiritual and physical death. Here, however, it could mean that in spite of their expulsion, heaven still cares about them. The globe’s concentric circles were all colored blue or in shades of blue except for the sun, in yellow color and planet Mars, in pink color.
It means that the planets are located far into the heavens or they possessed heavenly qualities. The outermost circle was of dark blue, signifying intensity and vividness, since it is believed to be closest to heaven with zodiac signs controlling the movement of the heavenly bodies. For this painting, the yellow color represents divinity, holiness or godliness. At first glance, it can be observed that the yellow color in different shades and intensity lightens up the whole scene. It means that God’s presence can lighten up any place. It is of dark yellow when closest to God, signifying that God is the source of holiness, and it is of light yellow as the distance from God widens, which can be interpreted to mean that holiness diminishes when farther from God. The angel that shoved Adam and Eve away is also surrounded with color yellow since he too is a holy being. Obviously, the trees at the right caught a reflection of the color to mean that it too shared in God’s holiness. The Garden of Eden is a holy place after all.
Vertical lines, horizontal lines, curved lines, and diagonal lines are all used in the painting (Dudley 162-165). Diagonal lines are used in the legs and arms of Adam and Eve, God and the angel .It signifies action or movement, since the scene depicts creation and expulsion. Adam and Eve were at the point of exiting, the angel was showing them away, and God is creating the world (his right index fingers were pointed at the globe) and at the same time directing Adam and Eve out. God’s body is largely shown in horizontal lines signifying a relaxed state as a divine being but since he was not in supine position it means there was some effort exerted or there was a disturbance of the relaxed state caused by the sin of man and He was floating meaning He is of higher status as compared to man. Adam and Eve and the angel were drawn in curved lines signifying beauty of creation. The straight lines are represented by the unmoving trees and flowers at right. They denote balance and stillness, providing a sense of solidity and calmness contrasting in the dynamic movement of the other characters.
Overall, the painting is a religious representation mixed with humanistic interpretation.
“Giovanni di Paolo: The Creation of the World and the Expulsion from Paradise (1975.1.31)”. In Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/sien/hod_1975.1.31.htm (October 2006)
]Dudley, Louise and Austin Faricy. The Humanities. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc, 1973.