Albrecht Dürer

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Image of Albrecht Dürer, Adam and Eve
Albrecht Dürer

Adam and Eve

Signed with the artist's monogram and dated at lower right, 1504

Pen and brown ink, brown wash, corrections in white
242 x 201 mm

Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910

I, 257d
Item description: 

Dürer achieved the classically proportioned figures of the Adam and Eve print through a significant amount of preliminary effort. This sheet shows the complexity of his preparatory trials. He joined two pieces of paper, a figure on each, and added a third vertical strip down the middle to create the appropriate distance between them. He then applied brown wash to unify the entire composition. Of the many drawings produced in connection with the print, this work is the only one to include both the male and female figures. That they each hold an apple, the temptation that led to their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, reveals Dürer's willingness to experiment as he resolved the composition. In the final print, he decided to place the apple only in Eve's hand.