Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
Thomas Cole
Title: The Baptism
Date Created: 1930
Dimensions: w122 x h150 cm
Type: Paintings
Medium: Oil on canvas
Location: Galleria Civica di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Torino
The work freezes a fragment of middle-class life, with the figures portrayed set in a space that is real, yet also minimal and abstract, just as the expressions of the individuals appear neutral, as if present but emotively distant from the happy event, waiting for the ritual photograph like immobile wax statues on a podium. The adamant and affected painting, together with the fixed and absorbed light, charge the atmosphere with an unreal lack of familiarity among those involved in the event, while the artist’s usual attention to clothing – perhaps because he was the son of a fabric dealer – reveals an intention of socially characterising the roles of those he portrays, whether they be clowns, spouses, harlequins or housewives.
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