Oil on fabric
Unframed: 91.3 x 70.7 cm (35 15/16 x 27 13/16 in.)
Bequest of Noah L. Butkin 1980.258
A renewed interest in religious art in mid-19th-century Britain led John Faed to visit Palestine in 1857.
John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost (1667) was the principal literary source for John Faed's depiction of the expulsion of Adam and Eve. The archangel Michael directs the couple away from the lush gardens and heavenly radiance of Eden, while Satan in the form of a snake appears in the right foreground. In most representations of the subject, Michael guards the gates of Paradise with a fiery sword, as prescribed in both Genesis and Paradise Lost. Faed, on the other hand, has him brandishing a compass, an instrument traditionally employed by God the Father in his act of creating the world.
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