In the new novel of Jeffery Archer, “False Impression,” there is the following conversation between the heroine, Anna Petrescu who has snatched Van Gogh’s self-portrait away from a murderer banker, Bryce Fenston, and is trying to sell it to Nakamura, a Japanese business leader and well-known art collectors on behalf of the proper British proprietor, Arabella Wentworth:


“Van Gogh.”


“Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear.”

“With a famous Japanese print reproduced on the wall behind the artist, if I remember correctly,” said Nakamura.

“Geisha in a Landscape,” said Anna, “demonstrating Van Gogh’s fascination with Japanese culture.”

You should have been christened Eve,” said Nakamura.

"Now it's my turn." Anna looked surprised.

"I presume that it has to be the Wentworth Self-portrait purchased by the fifth earl?"

I don’t know what “You should have been christened Eve,” means. I came across the phrase, christened Eve, for the first time. Can you tell me what it means?

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    Christened means named. The quote means You should have been named Eve; though I don't know why.
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 0:54
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    Nakamura may be calling her a temptress, via reference to the original Eve. Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 1:27
  • Van Gogh severed his ear on Christmas Eve, 1888. Maybe that is the "Eve"?
    – GEdgar
    Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 1:35
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    Tempted to -1 for reading Jeffrey Archer :) Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 1:57
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    @GEdger. Van Gogh severed his left ear on Christmas Eve in 1888 in the small town of Arles, and gave his severed ear to a whore named Rachel as an early Christmas gift. She passed out upon unwrapping it, according to “Van Gogh Ear” by Adam Gopmic in New Yorker. A weird story. But Nakamura’s comment, “You should have been christened Eve” seem to be irrelevant to this Christmas Eve happening. Commented Oct 20, 2011 at 9:44

1 Answer 1


You left out an earlier statement by Anna Petrescu: "I believe I have a painting that you will be unable to resist."

Nakamura is referring to the biblical Eve who tempted Adam with the apple, which Adam could not resist. The statement "you should have been christened Eve" is a way of intimating that Anna is just like Eve.

  • @DKuleger. I advertently overlooked the preceding line of Anna, “I believe I have a painting that you will be unable to resist," you pointed out. Yes, "You should have been christened Eve" exactly corresponds to the temptation “you will be unable to resist." I think it decodes my question clearly. I appreciate your being kind enough to track back the rest of the original text which preceded as much as 15 lines ahead of the phrase in question. Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 2:15

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