Adam and Eve

A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1543

Artist:

Sebald Beham (German, 1500-1550)
after Barthel Beham (German, 1502-1540)

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.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Hans Sebald Beham

Title

Adam and Eve

Origin

Germany

Date

1543

Medium

Engraving in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

82 x 57 mm (image/plate); 84 x 58 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.

Reference Number

1921.316

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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