- Museum number
The Expulsion from the Garden; Adam and Eve cowering on the ground beneath a tree, an angel above driving them away
Brush drawing in brown wash, with pen and brown ink
- Production date
Height: 247 millimetres
Width: 196 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Lit.: A.E. Popham, 'Catalogue of Drawings in the Collection formed by Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart., F.R.S., now in the possession of his Grandson, T. Fitzroy Phillipps Fenwick of Thirlestaine House, Cheltenham', London, 1935, p. 153, no. 1, pl. LXI; N. Turner, 'Italian Baroque Drawings', London, 1980, no. 20; N. Turner, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Roman Baroque Drawings', London, 1999, I, no. 223
As has been recently suggested (Lugano and Rome, 1989-90, no. III.57), this drawing may reflect the design of a ceiling decoration which Mola is recorded as having painted in one of two rooms of the Palazzo Sonnino in Rome (Pascoli, 1730-36, I, p. 125: "Dipinse le volte di due stanze nel palazzo del principe di Sonnino; ed effigiò in una Adamo, ed Eva nell'esser discacciati dal Paradiso terrestre; e nell'altra Caino, che ammazza Abele."). Graf has connected a black chalk drawing by Mola in the Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf (inv. no.FP 951), with the 'Expulsion', though the subject of the Düsseldorf drawing seems to be God the Father pointing out the Tree of Knowledge to Adam and Eve (see London and Edinburgh, 1973, no. 108). In style and technique, the Düsseldorf drawing is related to another in the same collection representing 'God the Father Showing Adam the Animals he had Created' (inv. no.FP 952; London and Edinburgh, 1973, no. 107, as the 'Creation of Adam'). As Graf observed, these two drawings were apparently drawn as part of a series, for the same commission, and he is surely right in proposing that they may have been made with the decoration of the Palazzo Sonnino in mind.
A brush drawing in red wash over black chalk of the 'Creation of Adam' at Christ Church, Oxford (inv.no. 0932; Byam Shaw, 1976, I, no. 623; II, fig. 345, as mid-seventeenth-century Roman), though different in technique from the two Düsseldorf drawings, is so close to them compositionally and stylistically as to have been very probably intended for the same decorative project (see Lugano and Rome, 1989-90, no.III.58). The caryatids shown to each side of the composition in the Oxford drawing would seem to indicate that the scenes from the cycle of 'Stories of Adam' were set in feigned architecture and may have occupied a frieze below the ceiling.
The subject of the present drawing has not been previously questioned, and was already identified as an 'Expulsion' in Woodburn's 1860 sale catalogue. Davis (1991) has doubted the identification, however, observing that a number of details do not conform with the biblical description of the event. He notes that the angel has a serpent's tail, which is more consistent with a figure of Calumny, and that one of the figures below is wearing clothes, when Adam and Eve fled naked from the Garden. He goes on to suggest that the man at the lower centre is none other than Mola himself, who is shown fleeing from an apparition in another of his drawings (see Lugano and Rome, 1989-90, no. III.103). Ingenious though this interpretation is, it is partly flawed by the lack of similarity in feature between the man in 1946,0713.88 and those of the painter himself, as recorded in his self-portrait in the Uffizi, Florence (inv. no.823E; Lugano and Rome, 1989-90, p.20) and in many of his caricature drawings (see, for example, 1857,0613.365). Nor does Davis's interpretation explain the presence of the female figure on the left of the drawing, who flees to the left with her companion, perhaps carrying a baby or a bundle of clothes. She cannot be Mola's wife since he never married.
Literature: Popham, 1935, I, p.153, no.1 (as Mola); Turner, 1980, no.20; Lugano and Rome, 1989-90, no.III.57; Davis, 1991, pp.49ff.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1989 Sep-Nov, Museo Cantonale d'Arte, Lugano, 'Mola', no. III.57
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Inscribed with Resta no: "n.14"
Loaned by Padre Sebastiano Resta to Giovanni Matteo Marchetti, Bishop of Arezzo, with other drawings from his volume 'l', for a period, ending 1703.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number