Expulsion from the Garden of Eden


Michelangelo, The Fall and Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, 1509–1510. Fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican City.

Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512 under the patronage of Pope Julius II. The Fall and Expulsion from the Garden of Eden is one of nine panels that depict scenes from the book of Genesis. On the far left, Adam and Eve are in the garden, a landscape of boulders and dark green vegetation. Their bodies are muscular and young. Because he was sculptor, Michelangelo was interested in modeling in three-dimensional space, so even in his paintings he emphasized the musculature of his figures. Eve reaches out toward Satan’s outstretched arm and grasps at the fruit. The tree of knowledge, around which the serpentine Satan is coiled, separates the panel into two parts. To the right of the tree, Adam and Eve are shown being expelled from the garden.