Author: Franz von Stuck (1863 - 1928)
Title: Sin (1893)
Couldn't help but to post about here. This painting has been an inspiring piece for me for quite a long time. By the end of his life, Stuck was known more for his teaching of other artists than he was for his own work, which is a tragedy. Stuck was an architect as well as a painter, and the lapidary structures of his figures weren’t the only clue.
While there are a variety of versions of the piece in a lot of collections, the sense of sheer mass is consistent from version to version. Eve shoulders the serpent and you can feel it pressing on her, just as you can feel the rustle of those cold scales along her pale skin. That’s what always stopped me amazed about this piece: the mass of it. It seems to bulge from the canvas, and with startling darkness.
Despite the overt sexuality of the scene, it is cold and unwelcoming to the viewer. While Stuck could have painted Eve writhing softly from her curtains of hair and snake, he has built her body from unyielding stone. It blazes painfully, even as her smirk sinks into shadow. She is like a lover drawing away from you in the dark.