The Garden of Eden

Hugh Goldwin Riviere (1860-1956)


Oil on canvas

123 x 94 cm.

Guildhall Art Gallery, London

The title is belied by the dim, misty road beyond the park railings, with its waiting cab and solitary figures. Within the park too the trees are wintry, the ground wet. The couple wear dark clothes against the inclement weather. The man's collar is turned up. This is not the day or time for walking in the park; it is probably an assignation. Yet the young woman's pale face is lit with happiness as the man clasps her hand and bends his own face (his expression unseen by us) towards her. One hopes that no danger lurks here for them. [Commentary continues below.]

  • The painting in its frame
  • Photograph by Jacqueline Banerjee reproduced by kind permission of the City of London Corporation.