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Underneath a date palm, a luxuriously clad God the Father lifts up and blesses Eve, his new creation formed from Adam's rib. Behind the three figures, the golden Fountain of Life pours water into a stream from which the animals of Paradise drink.

In the background, Adam and Eve reach for the forbidden fruit on the Tree of Knowledge. Halfway up the closest hill, an angel wielding a sword drives the couple from Paradise in punishment for their sin. On top of the mountain, Cain and Abel offer their gifts to God, Abel's signifying God's acceptance with rising smoke and Cain's signifying God's rejection with descending smoke. Thus in the beautiful landscape of Paradise, the tragedy and sorrow of humanity's fate already casts a gloomy pall on the glory of Creation.

Details

  • Title: Scenes from the Creation
  • Creator: Simon Bening
  • Date Created: about 1525–1530
  • Location Created: Bruges, Belgium
  • Physical Dimensions: Leaf: 16.8 × 11.4 cm (6 5/8 × 4 1/2 in.)
  • Type: Folio
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors, gold paint, and gold leaf on parchment
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 83.ML.115.7v
  • Culture: Flemish
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig IX 19, fol. 7v
  • Creator Display Name: Simon Bening (Flemish, about 1483 - 1561)
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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