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Adam and Eve: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
In this famous engraving, Dürer's primary interest was not the biblical story of the Fall of Man, but in introducing the German public to the perfectly constructed classical form of man and woman. He believed that his audience was not yet ready to accept classical nudity presented for its own sake, so he placed his figures in a religious setting and enriched the scene with numerous symbolic details. While the focus of the engraving is certainly the idealized figures of Adam and Eve, the inclusion of so many additional symbols creates a visual interest that fills the entire sheet. Every detail contributes to the symbolic import of the piece, even the mountain goat perched at the edge of the cliff in the upper right corner symbolizes unbelieving and is a perfect tie to Adam and Eve, the first to break a divine commandment. The clarity and lushness of this particular sheet contributes to its consideration as the best impression of Adam and Eve in an American public collection.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 13, 2009