Cristóbal de Villalpando, Adam and Eve in Paradise

Oil on copper
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Puebla, Mexico

This is for the most part a literal pictorialization of the first three chapters of Genesis. In the upper region are the things God created on the six days. On the first day light comes into being on the left and is separated from the darkness on the right – in the sky that is created on the second day (Genesis 1:1-8). Below the sky are the trees and plants of the third day (Genesis 1:11-13) with the birds and beasts of the fifth and sixth days (Genesis 1:24-26). Finally, in the lower half of the painting, God creates Adam and the story continues to its conclusion (Genesis 1:27-31).

The story of the first parents begins in the middle left, where God is pictured as three differentiated men with triangular halos molding Adam out of clay. Left of that section, God the Father sets Adam in the garden. Then in the left foreground he creates Eve from Adam's rib.

In the middle foreground he tells the two not to touch the forbidden tree. Behind them is the fountain from which flow the earth's four major rivers. Above the figure of God, naked Adam and Eve contemplate the tree respectfully; but to the right of that figure we see Eve tempted by the serpent (with horns on a human face). God confronts them about their sin in the right foreground, and above that section the angel drives the two out of Paradise.

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Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.