To his contemporaries, Charles-Joseph Natoire was on a level with Boucher. This Expulsion from Paradise (1740) is full of involuntary humor. The leaves wrapped around the hips, Eve’s tearfulness and Adam’s supplicatory pose, but most of all God’s gesture that reminds a modern viewer of an angry motorist. This last bit is unfair of course, but I doubt it looked very divine to contemporaries either.

There are probably few epochs in the history of art that were as far from religion as the court of Louis XV. The buzzword of the time was galant, which carried connotations of tenderness, elegance, eroticism, and was applied to pretty much everything. Prints in religious or moral books were often adapted erotic scenes. If you see, in the above scene, Eve as a girl who has just lost her virginity, Adam as the man who did the deed, and God as the angry father, it makes a lot more sense.

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