Emil Orlik / Paradise
Paradise is possibly Orlik’s most momentous painting. Two veiled figures walk along the bank of a sea inlet surrounded by cliffs. It is a depiction of a passage from Dante’s Divine Comedy, in which Beatrice, as the teacher of wisdom, accompanies the pilgrim through Paradise. At the left and above the picture is framed by deciduous trees, and on the right, a group of high cliffs. The sky and the foam of the waves have a golden tinge that is a reference to Symbolism and the Secession. Orlik is inspired here by the artistic language of the East that he encountered during his trip to Japan. The decorative and linearist approach of Japanese art corresponded to European Secessionist principles.