Lucas Cranach the Elder 1472 – 1553

Adam and Eve (1509)

woodcarving (33 × 23 cm) — 1509

Lucas Cranach the Elder biography

This work is linked to Genesis 3:6

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This is Cranach's first depiction of the Fall of Man, the moment Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit. This woodcut still shows similarities to the famous etching Albrecht Dürer made a few years earlier. In later images Cranach would move away from the muscular renaissance figures Dürer used. Cranach's figures became tall and slim: 1526, 1528, 1533 and 1538.

Special about this depiction is that Adam is shown sitting.

The animals are shown in pairs of two. Among them is a quiet lion, emphasizing that this is Paradise where all species live together in peace.

The coats of arms hanging from the tree belong to Frederic III, Elector of Saxony. Cranach worked at his court. The note on the tree has the letters LC and a winged serpent, the symbol Frederic had granted to Cranach.

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