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Path to Paradise: panel XI

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Three-Tiered Cosmos

2015
30 x 40 in. (76.2 x 101.6 cm)

Judith Schaechter
American

Object Type: Glass
Medium and Support: Stained-glass panel
Credit Line: Private Collection
Accession Number: EX2020.DG1.36
Location: Currently on view
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In the cosmologies of many cultures, the universe consists of three tiers—the known surface of the world, the world below the water, and the world in sky and space. Similar to the painting revealed on the exterior of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, Schaechter’s imagery references the creation of the world, when the waters were separated from land, and the earthly paradise, called Eden, was created.

As she frequently does, Schaechter locates the female form against the backdrop of the natural world, here in the center of the universe. There is a helpless innocence to her figure (and that in The Life Ecstatic, as they are the same) that almost feels newborn, as though she is in the fetal sac or about to emerge into the world of the flesh.

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