The origin of sin’ Painting Essay Sample

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Renaissance art refers to the paintings, sculptures and other decorative arts of the renaissance period of the European history (Johnson 2005). This art emerged as a style of aesthetic communication in which culture was also transferred. This paper will discuss the painting as a form of renaissance art with a major focus on ‘the origin of sin” painting created by Michelangelo as part of decoration on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel.

‘The origin of sin’ is an artistic painting of the forbidden fruit at the Garden of Eden in the creation story of the Christian religion. The painting represents Neo-Platonism as the beauty of the environment is symbolic reference to the painting meaning. The painting from visual point is divided into two parts with the tree of knowledge acting as the centre. The left part of the painting, the background is characterized by bareness of the land which we can equate to the real world full of trouble. Eve is trying to grab something from the serpent disguised as a woman and coiled on the tree of knowledge while Adam is looking on. On the right side of the painting, the background land is characterized by green foliage perhaps symbolic of heaven. We see dejected figures of Adam and Eve in contrast to healthy and good looking Adam and Eve on the left side. Eve is trying to hide her face. An angel carrying a sword seems to be chasing them away.

The origin of sin painting displays the conflicting forces of good and evil with the serpent trying to tempt Adam and Eve. In truth the left side of the painting represents the Psychomachia, a war between Adam and Eve’s soul in coming up with a decision. The right hand side shows the consequences of the choices made on the left side of the painting. They are chased away from the garden


Johnson, G. A. (2005). Renaissance art: a very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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