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Art historian Charles de Tolnay believed that, through the seductive gaze of Adam, the left panel already shows God's waning influence upon the newly created earth.
This view is reinforced by the rendering of God in the outer panels as a tiny figure in comparison to the immensity of the earth.
His youthful appearance may be a device by the artist to illustrate the concept of Christ as the incarnation of the Word of God.
God's right hand is raised in blessing, while he holds Eve's wrist with his left.
Secondly, he is reacting to an awareness that Eve is of the same nature as himself, and has been created from his own body.
Behind Eve rabbits, symbolising fecundity, play in the grass, and a dragon tree opposite is thought to represent eternal life.
Adam's expression is one of amazement, and Fraenger has identified three elements to his seeming astonishment.
Firstly, there is surprise at the presence of the God.
It is not known whether "The Garden" was intended as an altarpiece, but the general view is that the extreme subject matter of the inner center and right panels make it unlikely that it was intended to function in a church or monastery, but was instead commissioned by a lay patron.
these panels lack colour, probably because most Netherlandish triptychs were thus painted, but possibly indicating that the painting reflects a time before the creation of the sun and moon, which were formed, according to Christian theology, to "give light to the earth".
The scenes depicted in the triptych are thought to follow a chronological order: flowing from left-to-right they represent Eden, the garden of earthly delights, and Hell.