Albrecht Dürer was a leading figure in German Renaissance art and—by far—the most famous printmaker of his time. Working in the late 1400s and early 1500s, he sought to reshape German art by studying Italian and ancient Roman art. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve were the first man and woman. God let them live in the Garden of Eden but told them not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. When a serpent offered them the fruit, they ate it, and God punished them with expulsion from the garden. Dürer’s Adam and Eve is based on antique sculpture such as the Apollo Belvedere and the Medici Venus, which he probably knew through drawings or copies. This incredibly detailed engraving has remained a benchmark for other artists for more than 500 years.
Image: Albrecht Dürer, Germany, 1471–1528, Adam and Eve, 1504, engraving. The Christina N. and Swan J. Turnblad Memorial Fund, 1958, P.12,613