The Death of Cain

46”x40” oil on canvas/wood 1994

As related in “Genesis”, Cain, who killed his brother Abel, was protected for seven generations by the “mark of Cain”. Some Biblical commentators say this mark was an animal horn which grew from Cain’s forehead.

For 130 years, Cain wandered the Earth. Lamech, a seventh-generation descendant of Cain was blind. He went out hunting, with his son leading him by the hand. The child thought he saw a horned animal, whereupon Lamech drew his bow and accidentally killed his forefather Cain.

The serpent in the lunette represents the snake in the Garden of Eden. Early Biblical commentators suggested that Abel was righteous, but the evil embodied in the original serpent clung to the soul of Cain.

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