East Side - E20Sh44

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Scenes from the Book of Genesis

Scenes from the Book of Genesis - the Fall of Man and the story of Cain and Abel - constitute the central themes of this capital. On the narrow, west side Adam and Eve are shown naked and still without shame next to the Tree of Knowledge. The serpent snakes down its trunk as Eve reaches for the forbidden fruit.

On the south side the progenitors of humankind are expelled from Eden by an angel who stands at the gate of the garden with a flaming sword. As penance, Adam is forced to work the land, and Eve is beset by despair.

Represented on the next side is the sacrificial offering made by the of their sons, the farmer Cain and shepherd Abel. God’s blessing of Abel’s lamb but his refusal of Cain’s offering of grain brings about the brothers’ quarrel, which results in the murder of Abel by Cain.

The series ends on the north side of the double capital with the death of Cain, who is struck with an arrow by the blind hunter Lamech. Here the figure of Tubalcain is missing, who mistakenly aimed his father’s arrow at Cain. The story of Adam and Eve and their descendants is given a fuller and more detailed treatment on the mosaics and the west side of the bronze doors of the cathedral.