Adam and Eve expelled from Eden (1600/1699) by Luca Giordano (1634-1705)Gatchina Palace and Estate Museum
Luca Giordano's painting 'Adam and Eve expelled from Eden' comes from the collection of count Grigory Orlov (1734 – 1783), the first owner of the Gatchina palace.
After the death of count Grigory Orlov this painting, along with all the decoration of the Gatchina Palace became a property of Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich.
In 1828, under the will of the Empress Dowager Maria Feodorovna, the painting became part of the collection of Nicholas I. In the 1840s, by Imperial order, it was put in The Anteroom.
Here we can see the Archangel Michael with a fiery sword who sends Adam and Eve away from Eden.
"... So He drove out the man and stationed cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden, with a whirling sword of flame to guard the way to the tree of life" (Gen. 3:24)
Adam and Eve wear skins: “The LORD God made garments of skin and clothed Adam and his wife” (Gen. 3: 21), go into a new life, where they will earn their daily bread by the sweat of their brow.
To the left, we can see a duck. On the one hand, this is a symbol of marriage. On the other hand, a duck represents a long tongue and stupidity.
A rabbit is a symbol of fertility.In the Christian art it is depicted lying at the feet of the Virgin Mary (a symbol of tamed sensuality). A rabbit is also a symbol of a person who trusts in God only.
A serpent is a symbol of temptation: it tricked Adam and Eve into eating the fruit of the tree of Eden.
"The LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?” “The serpent deceived me,“ she replied, “and I ate.” (Gen. 3: 13)
The painting is on view in the Anteroom of the Gatchina Palace.
Aisulu Shukurova - senior researcher, Gatchina Palace and Estate Museum