In this work I intend to present a biblical episode as a fairy tale. The episode I selected is from the Bible in the 3rd chapter of Genesis. Eve, and subsequently Adam, while still being in the Garden of Eden, were tempted by the serpent to eat the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. This episode is a really well known one and it represents the fall of man into sin, disobedience and defiance, by not listening to what God told them. I believe that the Bible is composed of many tales that serve to educate the faithful Christian believers and they can also be regarded as exemplary lessons for anyone about the human condition and existence.
I painted the Tree of Knowledge in the center of the image. It lies on a piece of land shown in section: grass, gravel and earth. This means that the composition is horizontally divided by the edge of the ground. Into the ground I also painted the root of the tree. In the upper section of the image, behind the tree, I painted a clear sky, a mountain range and a forest. Atmospheric effects were used to blur and fade these elements. Under the Tree of Knowledge, Adam and Eve are separated by the tree trunk. There are some additional characters in the painting: a dog, a snake, and a bird at the top of the tree.
The landscape behind the Tree of Knowledge is intended to give the impression that the Garden of Eden is very large. The space created by the perceived depth between the tree and the far landscape can suggest that the main characters enjoyed boundless freedom. To highlight the serenity of the two protagonists of this tale, the sky is crystal clear, pure blue.
I decorated the top of the image with elements that resemble an arch. This flowers dome is meant to support the idea of a garden being depicted. I illustrated unique flowers, that have fluorescent elements. Under the ground, two gigantic hands come out and hold the entire landscape. The floral arch and the hands, are designed to create a picture frame, a narrative frame for the whole story.
In the underground, below the roots of the tree, two big hands support the entire scene, the world, in a protective way. These are decorated with elements reminiscent of floral decorations. In this way I make a subtle connection between the arch of flowers and God. Moreover, one can speak about a world behind and beyond appearances, beyond what the the ordinary man gets to know. The hands represent a force that Adam and Eve know a little about. They are at the hand of God. Many Christian believers say that we are at God's mercy.
The Tree of Knowledge is illustrated in a stylized way and unrealistic. It has large leaves and very large apples. Under the tree, on the left, Eve raises her hand to take an apple from the tree. She exhibits directly the interest to violate the command given by God which strictly forbids eating fruits from the Tree of Knowledge. She is accompanied by a puppy. If you look closely, you can see Eve is also pregnant. I decided to illustrate her like this to highlight the state of decay that the main characters have reached. The presence of the dog, a minor character in this tale, underlines that she has a lower interest in Adam and now she is interested other things, she want to get emancipated or independent. Furthermore, we should note that the tree separates Adam and Eve and they face opposite directions, they do not care of each other anymore. Adam rests leaning against the tree trunk and he seems to have a conversation with the snake, which is hanging down from the tree. His head orientation and the hand raised towards the snake, subtly suggest that they are in a conversation. The entire scene is a metaphor for the modern dysfunctional families.
We should also observe that the size of the main characters is very small compared with the apples found in the Tree of Knowledge. The over-sized apples represent how strong and powerful the temptation of Eve was when she committed the sin. Their small size compared to the overall composition is also a suggestion for how unimportant and insignificant Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, and by extension, how insignificant people are in this world.
The whole image is painted in vivid colors. The flowers at the top are the most vivid and diverse in terms of color. For the background I used cool colors and for the characters, warm colors. The cool colors recede into the background, so they really help with the mountains and the forest. The apples stand out, because they are large and have an intense red color. The hands of the deity have a well defined volume and shading, in grayscale. In this way, I point out that the hands are not belonging to the world, they are out of the ordinary. The remaining elements have a very poorly defined volume and modeling, because they are ephemeral and clearly diaphanous compared to any deity that might exist.