Eve and the Serpent

                                                                              Rose Piper, 1988

The story of creation and the fall of man are two of the most recognizable stories told. In contrast to the biblical representation of Eve as a sinful woman who leads man into temptation, Rose Piper’s Eve and the Serpent painting portrays Eve as innocent and naive. In the center of the painting, Piper illustrates Eve looking intently at the serpent on the tree her eyes filled with wonderment and fascination. However, the serpent is winking while facing the viewer. It is almost as if it is showing the audience that we know something that Eve does not, emphasizing her naivety. Through Piper’s vision, Eve is not the one to blame for the fall of man she is a victim of the serpent’s master manipulation. Piper changed the story from “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree” (Genesis 3:12) and “Because you listened to your wife… Cursed is the ground…” (Genesis 3:17) to “The serpent deceived me” (Genesis 3:13). The serpent is painted a vibrant blue color surrounded by a contrast of bright red fruit. Red is often depicted as a sinful color affiliated with anger and passion while blue is often associated with calmness and tranquility. The snake purposefully lured Eve into a false sense of security. The serpent’s wink in the painting elucidated that he is up to something. Us, the viewers who have heard the story before, know that he manipulates Eve into eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of life.