About this artwork
For disobeying God’s orders and eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam and Eve received the punishment of mortality, hard work, and pain. A skeleton, an obvious symbol of death, forms the trunk of the fatal tree, and the evil serpent winds its way through the skeleton’s hollow torso. Sebald Beham’s sensuous intertwining of the nudes, snake, and skeleton blatantly marks this depiction as a sexual awakening. While Adam is entirely naked, the gesture of Eve’s free hand both covers and accentuates her newfound sexuality.
- Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Hans Sebald Beham
- Adam and Eve
- Made 1543
- Engraving in black on ivory laid paper
- 82 × 57 mm (image/plate); 84 × 58 mm (sheet)
- Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.