Paradise in paintings

Interesting to speculate on this in the last 100 years. The earthly paradise of Otto Mueller and Matisse spring to mind.

The Eclectic Light Company

After yesterday’s visit to the underground dungeons of Hell, today’s paintings try to show the reward after life for those who follow the way of the righteous: Paradise.

Paradise is a concept rather more peculiar to Christianity, and although there are pre-Christian equivalents in earlier and different European traditions, such as Arcadia and the Elysian Fields (which gave their name to the Champs-Élysées in Paris), Paradise is quite distinct. From the earliest modern European paintings, there was confusion between the Paradise of the afterlife, and the Garden of Eden from which Adam and Eve were cast out. In this article, I will concentrate on the former, as the direct equivalent of Dante’s Paradise.

botticiniassumptionvirgin Francesco Botticini (1446–1498), Assumption of the Virgin (c 1475-76), tempera on wood, 228.6 x 377.2 cm, The National Gallery, London. Wikimedia Commons.

Paradise commonly occurs in cameo views in paintings of events such as the Assumption of…

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