The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise – Benjamin West

National Gallery of Art, Washington

The artist depicts the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden. The Archangel holds a red cloak, indicating the entry of time and death into human history. Creation is now subject to decay. Notice the world that awaits them. It is dark and unordered. A treacherous eagle swoops down at a bird while a lion attacks helpless horses. The protagonists bemoan their fall. Adam covers his face in shame while Eve pleads for mercy. Before them slithers the crafty serpent. Is this the fallen end? Notice Adam and Eve; the sheepskin that covers them is reminiscent of the Lamb of God. God’s correction is rooted in love. Fallen humankind was restored by the Love of the Cross, the true Tree of Life.

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