Eve and the Voices

WAG 2915


In the Judeo-Christian tradition, Eve was the first woman on earth alongside Adam, the first man. They were given the Garden of Eden, or Paradise, to tend by God. He forbid them from eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. The Bible's book of Genesis tells us that Eve was tempted to eat the fruit after she was led astray by the evil serpent and that Adam joined her. Upon eating the fruit, the pair became ashamed of their nudity. They tried to cover themselves with fig leaves. God banished them from the Garden as punishment for their sin. In this painting, Eve is shown lying in the Garden of Eden. Her nudity suggests that the scene is set before she has eaten any fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, which may be the one she lies beside. Instead, Fowler seems to have depicted Eve during her temptation. He has symbolised her psychological anguish with the ghostly repetition of her face behind her. Each face might represent one of 'the voices' in her head telling her to eat the forbidden fruit. One contemporary reviewer, writing in 'The Artist', commented at the time: ''Eve and the Voices' is remarkable as a psychological study of expression, disclosing the conflict of conscience and desire.'