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Eve and the Serpent, to use the painting's full title, was completed in 1906/1907. This female figure would later appear in several other Rousseau paintings.
A serpent wraps itself around a small tree and comes across Eve who appears to have been walking through the jungle at this time. They share a small fruit from the tree which the artist represents with small circles of orange paint. The background jungle is purely a mixture of tones of green with occassional yellow outlines in order to help the viewer to distinguish different plants. Right at the back is a bright sky which allows light to flood some parts of the scene, bringing out the key features of the composition.
The artist liked to draw together nature and humanity and few better stories exist for this than that of Adam and Eve. Thousands of other artists over the years have also made use of them in their work, across a whole variety of different art movements, from the Renaissance all the way up to modern day Surrealism, plus many in between.
This painting can now be found at the Kunsthalle Hamburg, Germany. Rousseau's work is spread evenly across Europe, such was his status as a respected and much loved artist whose skills were not rated quite as highly as the greatest artists from this period. No one single institution was created to focus on his career and so his work quickly dispersed. They were also better value than those of more famous artists, allowing smaller art galleries and museums to also obtain some of his work themselves.