Giovanni Della Robbia’s sculpture of Adam and Eve was created in Florence, Italy in 1515. Della Robbia’s sculpture is an illustration of the biblical story Adam and Eve. His portrayal of The Garden of Eden, Eve, and the Serpent in the sculpture of Adam and Eve gives a brief understanding and reference to the portrayal of women and their role in the western Culture. First, The Garden of Eden in the bible is portrayed as a utopia and considered a sinless place, but in the sculpture it is understood that the sin has already taken place.
They had already taken and eaten from the apple of the tree of knowledge because Adam and Eve both are now aware that they were naked, and covered themselves up. The Garden of Eden in the sculpture shows the serpent, Adam signifying the father, Eve signifying the mother, a dove signifying Gods watchful eye, an apple, and the tree of knowledge. The Garden of Eden is viewed as a dystopia in the sculpture instead of the utopia it is delivered as in the bible.
Della Robbia offered the view of the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden. Second, Eve was created from the rib of Adam, in careful observation of Adam in the sculpture you can see that his ribs are disproportioned (three on his right and two on his left), made from earth elements in God’s image, with the purpose that women would walk side by side with men. Eve played the role in The Garden of Eden as a mother. In this sculpture, Eve is portrayed to be deceiving, sinister, and misleading.
This brings one to believe that this was thought by all people during the western era. In western culture women played the male role in his absence, therefore women were particularly dominant. Eve plays the dominant role in which she makes the decisions for them both and Adams follows along. Third, the serpent signified evil, sin, and explanations. In Della Robbia’ sculpture the serpent has the head of Eve insinuating that Eve is the Snake in the situation in which she manipulates Adam to Eat the apple that came from the Tree of knowledge.
As a woman I would see this as degrading but true because although Eve was considered to be a snake, snakes having the double meaning of being a deceiving and misleading, Adam had free will to manage his own mind and decisions. The tree of knowledge to me represents temptation and free will, because God put the tree there to tempt Adam and Eve to not eat from it but if it was never meant for them to eat from it, God wouldn’t have put it there. Signifying that to every good thing God made, there was something evil to balance it out.
In Closing, Della Robbia’s portrayal of The Garden of Eden, Eve, and the Serpent in the sculpture of Adam and Eve gives a brief understanding and reference to the portrayal of women and their role in the western Culture because Eve plays the dominant role of a male much like in the 1500s where, in the male’s absence, a female would. Della Robbia had no real view of the Garden of Eden but what he read or was told, therefore he used his knowledge to bring it to life, much like most artists did in the Western Era.