Alasdair Gray

Eden and After

About this artwork

This hypnotic work is derived from ‘The Seventh Day of Creation - Eden and After’, a mural Gray painted in Greenhead Church in Glasgow, completed in 1963. Both mural and painting contain similar details, such as the black-cloaked figure of God, the reflective pool and the serpent with legs – creatures copied, as Gray stated, “from ‘The Miracle of Life’ and cigarette cards Dad gave me”. Yet this painting is unique in positioning the embracing Adam and Eve figures at such a captivating focal point. Their reflection adds a harmonious moment of tranquillity to the otherwise complex scene. Filled with fantastical creatures, raging fire, the tower of Babel and crucifixes on the distant hilltop, Gray’s composition follows, as he said, “the journey from the happy garden to the triumph of death.”

see media
  • title:
    Eden and After
  • accession number:
    GMA 5131
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Oil on board
  • date created:
    About 1965 -1966
  • measurements:
    62.70 x 55.00 cm (framed: 71.00 x 63.30 x 5.60 cm)
  • credit line:
    Purchased 2010
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Alasdair Gray

Alasdair Gray