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Adam and Eve

1944 Victor Joseph Gatto Born: New York, New York 1893 Died: Miami, Florida 1965 oil on canvas 24 x 10 3/4 in. (61.0 x 27.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment 1997.124.18 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 22B


Luce Center Label

Victor Joseph Gatto was not particularly religious, but he painted several fantasy images based on characters from the Bible. He used tiny brushes to build up thick layers of color, giving his subjects a glowing, otherworldly quality. He painted Adam and Eve at the moment of temptation, when Eve hands the apple to Adam; the flat, empty landscape beyond suggests the figures are standing on the edge of Eden. In Suffering Christ, Gatto depicted Jesus just before the crucifixion. The figure’s vivid red hair and pale skin emphasize the blood flowing from his forehead and chest, while his calm expression disguises his pain.

Keywords

Figure(s) in exterior - rural

Religion - Old Testament - Adam

Religion - Old Testament - Eve

painting

folk art

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Victor Joseph Gatto

Born: New York, New York 1893 Died: Miami, Florida 1965

More works in the collection by
Victor Joseph Gatto