Eve Emerging: Select Depictions of the First Sinner in Art from 1500-1700




Dionne, Chloe

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Genesis 3:6b is one of the most misinterpreted and therefore misunderstood verses in the Old Testament. For centuries, Eve has been characterized as a conniving woman who caused the downfall of man by herself, therefore giving permission for social and ecclesiastical structures to reflect their beliefs about her sin onto women's roles within the world, the family, and the church. To discover the narratives believed and endorsed by artists about Eve and, furthermore, womanhood, Eve Emerging: Depictions of the First Sinner in Renaissance Art will focus on distinguishing three main figural archetypes of Eve in painting and printworks: Eve contemplating, Eve tempting, and Eve ashamed. In the first chapter, the socio-historical contexts preceding these works will be discussed in terms of the definition of biblical womanhood as well as political patronage and the realm of the artist. The second chapter includes thorough iconographic and feminist art theoretical evaluations of eight works created between the years 1425-1578. In my final chapter, I discuss the application and shortcomings of feminist art historical theory when used regarding works from five centuries ago.



Art History