Portrayal Of Sin By Salvador Dali and Auguste Rodin In Their Work

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Traditional Christian monotheistic religious beliefs assert that humanity has been challenged by temptation and has made foolish mistakes leading to divine punishment and judgment. Sin was primarily introduced by Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden disobeying G-ds commands and giving into the temptation of the forbidden fruit.

Sins are often thought to be an overindulgence of one’s natural animalistic instinct, for example, a natural instinct is to feed, which gives the energy to move, concentrate and for growth, however, one can overindulge in feeding creating a lack of appreciation for food. This can lead to damaging effects such as obesity. Overindulgence of food, drink or wealth is known as gluttony which is one of the seven deadly sins. The ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ are a grouping of practices which are believed to be immoral and degrading in Society within Christian teachings.

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The seven deadly sins were first listed by Monk Evagrius Ponticus and then translated from Latin for Western Christianity. They were revised by Pope Gregory, forming teachings that he said should never be forgiven of forgotten and are made up of Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride. However, according to the Bible, they can be forgiven by G-d. Each sin is contrary to Christian principle for love of God, love for the people around us and love for our bodies. In modernity, many of these sins are projected widely through individuals such as pride especially living in a narcissistic society with social media constantly portraying unrealistic standards. Both Auguste Rodin and Salvador Dali have produced art portraying the theme and impact of sin. I was drawn to Salvador Dali’s painting ‘Metamorphosis of Narcissus’, including the theme of uncontrollable pride and Augustus Rodin sculpture, ‘The Kiss’ including the theme lust.

Both creations revolve around the idea of forbidden passion, and this strongly influenced my decision to choose these pieces of art. This is because I was struck with fascination on how the word ‘passion’ was presented in two completely different formats, however, with the same emotion. Psychiatrist Pauline Wallin Ph.D explains and lists several psychological reasons why humans want something they are not permitted. Firstly, if something is hard to get or it is forbidden, one will immediately pay more attention to it. Second, when something is lacking or rare, its value is increased. Finally, a psychological reaction to being told to do or not to do something is to do the exact opposite – a natural instinct perhaps in teenagers. Therefore, whether referring to the act of pride or lust, forbidden passion is extremely difficult to overcome inevitably leading to sin. In this essay, I further explore how both Dali and Rodin portray the protagonists of their narratives and tackle forbidden


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