A depiction of Adam and Eve in Paradise should be perfect, showing nature, animals and people all as God intended them. The Italian painter Franceschini has produced a perfect representation of the scene, almost too perfect in fact, making the painting seem ‘un-Dutch’. Equally un-Dutch is the fact that it is a large, religious painting: works like this did not really appear in Protestant Holland, unlike in the Catholic areas of Europe.
William V bought this painting in 1765 at an auction of the late King Augustus III of Poland’s collection. The painting would have made quite an impact in The Hague – it was the largest example of classical Italian painting in the prince’s collection of seventeenth-century pictures.
Augustus III, King of Poland; Prince William V, The Hague, 1765-1795; confiscated by the French, transferred to the Muséum Central des Arts/Musée Napoléon (Musée du Louvre), Paris, 1795-1815; Royal Picture Gallery, housed in the Prince William V Gallery, The Hague, 1816; transferred to the Mauritshuis, 1822
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