In ‘Cain (Adam and Eve)’, Anne Hall depicts the eponymous Biblical genesis story. As with all her work however, there is a strangeness to her envisioning. Adam and Eve stand on the Antipodean coastline, a Noah’s Ark of animals encircling them. The proportions are all off. A bulbous mouse cowers beside a demure cheetah, barely bigger than the platypus to its right. Cows arch their backs, hooves trembling on seagrass.
Hall’s work recalls Hieronymus Bosch – the Dutch Master best known for his vivid, dream-like epics. Bosch’s work veered between Christian morality and the grotesque, appearing as dense, hallucinatory epics of human temptation, redemption, the Garden of Eden and hell.
In 1967, Hall came into close contact with Bosch’s vision. She helped John Perceval complete his major work, ‘Veronica and the Conspirators’, based on Bosch’s ‘Christ Carrying the Cross’. In her role, Hall copied the right corner of Bosch’s painting — a contribution that art historian Margaret Plant argues is intrinsic to the work’s value.
“The paint is urgent, raised up more thickly, more lurid and hectic than in any other Perceval painting.”
Like Joy Hester and Mirka Mora, Hall forged a compelling female voice in an otherwise male dominated space. That her career was at times overshadowed by her marriage is a testament to the era’s issues with gender parity. Now, collected by The National Gallery of Australia, the Ian Potter Museum and Geelong Gallery, her absence is being redressed.
Anne HALL (1945 - )
'Cain (Adam and Eve)' 1972
oil on board
Image Size: 90 x 54 cm
Dimensions: 94 x 58 x 3 cm
Signed: Signed middle right 'Anne Hall '72'
Comes with Letter of Provenance
Condition: Very Good: Describes a work of art's image as Excellent, but may show some small signs of surrounding wear to paper or frame. There are no tears to paper margin or disruption to the paint surface.
© The Artist or Assignee