Adam and Eve

Media - 1997.124.18 - SAAM-1997.124.18_1 - 53666
Copied Victor Joseph Gatto, Adam and Eve, 1944, oil on canvas, 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

Artwork Details

Title
Adam and Eve
Date
1944
Dimensions
2410 34 in. (61.027.3 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Religion — Old Testament — Eve
  • Religion — Old Testament — Adam
Object Number
1997.124.18

Artwork Description

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.