Adam and Eve

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Albrecht Dürer
Adam and Eve
Engraving on paper.
plate mark: 9 13/16 x 7 9/16 inches (250 x 192 mm); sheet: 10 7/16 x 8 1/4 inches (265 x 209 mm)
Purchased as the gift of Eugene V. Thaw, S. Parker Gilbert, Rodney B. Berens, Mrs. Oscar de la Renta, Elaine Rosenberg, T. Kimball Brooker, George L. K. Frelinghuysen, and on the Ryskamp Fund, the Edwin H. Herzog Fund, and the Lois and Walter C. Baker Fund.
Fürst von Liechtenstein, Vaduz; purchased by P. & D. Colnaghi, London, between 1949 to 1951 as part of a series of block purchases; purchased by Richard H. Zinser, Forest Hills, New York, during the period 1949-51; by descent to the daughter of Richard H. Zinser; acquired from R. M. Light & Co., Santa Barbara.

Dated, on the plate, 1504. Watermark: bull's-head (Meder 62).


Albrecht Dürer's engraving Adam and Eve is one of the most celebrated of the artist's career. It complements the Morgan's drawing of Adam and Eve by Dürer (I, 257d). Dürer produced the Morgan drawing while trying to resolve the composition, which he then translated into the engraving. The Adam and Eve engraving represents the culmination of the artist's lifelong exploration of human proportions.
This very early impression of the second state of the print is remarkable for its superlative quality and condition, which make it exceedingly rare. It is distinguished by its subtle range of tone and overall brilliance due to the great variety of line work not seen in later impressions where the fine lines have become worn and nearly invisible.

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