Eve & Lilith
Oil on Wood Panel with 24k Gold, 36" x 24"
Lilith embodies fierce independence. With her hand resting on Eve’s shoulder, Lilith encourages Eve to venture forward and be fearless in life’s choices. The painting also shows Eve’s duality, in which the two figures are one and the same. Eve reaches for the fruit from the tree of knowledge, thus unleashing her own knowledge and potential.
Rosales’s representation of Lilith as a force of good, instead of terror, works to overturn Christianity’s misogynistic presentation of women as originators of sin and seduction. Inspired by Renaissance art—notably Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco Fall of Man and Expulsion from Paradise (1508–12) with Lilith as the serpent—Rosales’s painting also subverts it. With gold mosaic, iron oxide, and beautiful highlights on ebony skin, Eve & Lilith proclaims Black female empowerment and independence.