George Frederic Watts

Adam and Eve before the Temptation

1896
During the 1890s, George Frederic Watts became an important figure in the international Symbolist movement and a significant presence in avant-garde exhibitions throughout Europe. His themes tend towards the spiritual, and he considered himself a painter of ideas rather than of subjects. This painting was originally titled "Naked and Not Ashamed" from Genesis 2:25, and was one of a pair of pictures depicting scenes before and after the Fall of Adam and Eve. The lilies seen in the foreground are a symbol of purity, while the birds in the trees above and in Eve's hand traditionally represent the soul or the immaterial.
Title
Adam and Eve before the Temptation
Date
1896
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
65.3 x 38.3 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Gift of the Dennis T. Lanigan Collection, 2000
Accession number
40602