Europe 1300 - 1800
- Who was Albrecht Dürer?
- Albrecht Dürer
- Dürer, The Triumphal Arch or Arch of Honor
- Dürer, Self-portrait, Study of a Hand and a Pillow
- Dürer, Self-portrait (1498)
- Dürer, Self-portrait (1500)
- Dürer, Self-portrait
- Dürer, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
- Dürer, the Large Piece of Turf
- Albrecht Dürer, Adam and Eve
- Dürer, Adam and Eve
- Dürer, Melencolia
- Decoding art: Dürer's Melencolia I
- What is Melencolia?
- Dürer, Four Apostles
- Dürer's woodcuts and engravings
Met curator Freyda Spira on advertising in Albrecht Dürer’s Adam and Eve, 1504.
Throughout his life, Dürer was in thrall to the idea that the perfect human form corresponded to a system of proportion and measurements and could be generated by using such a system. Near the end of his life, he wrote several books codifying his theories, including the Underweysung der Messung (Manual of measurement), published in 1525, and Vier Bücher von menschlichen Proportion (Four books of human proportion), published in 1528 just after his death. Dürer's fascination with ideal form is manifest in Adam and Eve. The first man and woman are shown in nearly symmetrical idealized poses: each with the weight on one leg, the other leg bent, and each with one arm angled slightly upward from the elbow and somewhat away from the body. The figure of Adam is reminiscent of the Hellenistic Apollo Belvedere, excavated in Italy late in the fifteenth century. The first engravings of the sculpture were not made until well after 1504, but Dürer must have seen a drawing of it. Dürer was a complete master of engraving by 1504: human and snake skin, animal fur, and tree bark and leaves are rendered distinctively. The branch Adam holds is of the mountain ash, the Tree of Life, while the fig, of which Eve has broken off a branch, is from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge. Four of the animals represent the medieval idea of the four temperaments: the cat is choleric, the rabbit sanguine, the ox phlegmatic, and the elk melancholic.
View this work on metmuseum.org.Created by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Want to join the conversation?
- Is it possible to correct "mistakes" as one works on an engraving...not that the master Albrecht Durer would have made mistakes, but for mere mortals like myself?(7 votes)
- I believe not, since the artist is scratching a metal plate. If for instance, he had made a scratch across the center of one of the figures (notice there are very few marks across the highlights within the figures, or at least they are much lighter) he would not be able to remove that scratch from the plate and that part would appear black.
In your work, perhaps you could try filling scratches that you did not intend to make with an epoxy of some kind?(8 votes)
- The curator mentions that Albrecht Dürer was the first to really study nature, but I have always been taught that that was Leonardo Da Vinci?(2 votes)
- Very interesting. I never thought of art or print making in this way. Very beautiful.
Was it common during this time, to advertise ones artistic ability in this way?(2 votes)
- I have always wondered what the standard protocol is for handling art. At1:21, someone is bending and touching the print barehanded. In other videos, I have seen people only touching art with white gloves. I presume that the gloves are meant to keep the oils from our skin or soap/lotion residue from getting onto the artwork. What is the rationale for touching this work barehanded? Perhaps it is a modern reproduction, but do art curators have rules about touching art?(1 vote)
- It depends on the material, task, the nature, and fragility of the object. Curators assess each object individually. This video by the British Museum might help: https://goo.gl/AHwy1p(2 votes)
- Adam and Eve are depicted with navels (belly buttons) although they were not the result of childbirth with an umbilical cord. Was that a conscious decision by Durer due to known theological discussion on the topic?(1 vote)
- I was thinking about that too, they were made from the earth or dirt so ... the belly buttons shouldn't be there at all.(1 vote)