BRUEGHEL, Jan the Elder
(b. ca. 1568, Bruxelles, d. 1625, Antwerpen)

The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man

1616
Oil on copper, 24 x 37 cm
Private collection

This is one of the finest examples of Jan Brueghel's famous 'Paradise' landscapes which became the most famous of all the artist's works, earning him the sobriquet 'Paradise Brueghel'. These landscapes typically presented their subject matter within a Biblical context. Because the story of the Creation provides the Biblical link between God and the natural world, Brueghel's concentration upon the depiction of so many animals was ideally suited to the narratives of the Book of Genesis, in this case, the Fall of Man.

Here Brueghel's landscape depicts the Animal Kingdom in its harmonious state of perfection before the Fall. The tiny naked figures of Adam and Eve are shown in the distant corner.