Eve in the Garden of Eden Henri Rousseau Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The painting depicts a contrary concept to what Christians and Protestants believe. The erosion of freedom undermines the fundamental value of choice.

Naive art

Henri Rousseau is renowned for his naive art that doesn't follow distinct cultural context or tradition. The painting gives a geographical perspective and doesn't fully capitalize on the compositional conventions. The painting work is similar to other Henri Rousseau works with minimal contact with the mainstream art world. The childlike simplicity is typical of a rudimentary expression of perspectives. The painting illustrates the frankness of what is in the mind of the artist. Such a rendering style is popular in all Henri Rousseau's works.

What can you see in the painting?

The painting illustrated the events in the garden of Eden when Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. You can see the serpent and Eve receiving the apple. It is a period of enlightenment embodied in the painting. Henri Rousseau brings the preconceived notions concerning religion to life while advocating for religious beliefs outside the norm of an authoritarian system. Some aspects of Monsieur Rousseau's work identify him as the precursor to a Romantic era where intense feelings triumphed over rationality.

What do we learn about Henri Rousseau's religious beliefs?

The painting shows artists and admirers his thoughts concerning religion. The enlightenment context depicts his feelings that all religions have equal value and lead believers to a virtuous life. The painting work shows his enlightenment preference of a religious belief and not submitting to an authoritarian church. Henri Rousseau's passion for nature is seen in his passionate and erratic friendships and voice Romanticism. New generation artists can see the lifelong appreciation of nature combined with the understanding of the enlightenment era.

State of nature

The painting depicts a religious analogy that Eve accepting the apple caused Adam and Eve to be expelled from the garden of Eden. One can say that Henri Rousseau cared more about the origin of sin with the events in the garden of Eden. The painting clearly shows two species with a different state of nature before creating a political or civil society. Henri Rousseau's painting shows that Eve was happier in the early state. Therefore, human nature was fundamentally good and corruptible.

Henri Rousseau's perspective illustrates even or man as having compassion for another life form. Eve is ignorant of the concept of good and evil, a quality that changes their response to the environment. The perfectibility quality is the driving force to rapid evolution and the need for mutual preservation. Others famous paintings by Rousseau included Surprise and Dream.