Hans Holbein the Younger 1497/8 – 1543

Adam and Eve

oil on paper on panel (30 × 36 cm) — 1517 Museum Kunstmuseum, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel

Hans Holbein the Younger biography

This work is linked to Genesis 3:12

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Eve has just taken a bite from the forbidden fruit and now offers it to Adam. He gazes into the blue, perhaps pondering the consequences.

The apple is worm-eaten. Perhaps Holbein added that detail to emphasize the corrupted character of the episode.

At the time, in German areas such bust-high double-portraits were common for the depiction of married couples. By using that format, Holbein put the biblical scene in every-day life.

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