The Fall of Man (Adam and Eve) was completed by Albrecht Dürer in 1504. It was the only print he signed his full name to, an indication of its importance. The engraving shows Adam and Eve at the moment in which Eve accepts the fruit from the serpent. Each individual element of the painting has a symbolic meaning.
After studying art in Italy, Dürer completed The Fall of Man to introduce nude portraiture to the people of the north. The artist wanted to use the religious figures of Adam and Eve as vehicles for demonstrating the ideal classical proportions of the human form. Adam was inspired by the Apollo Belvedere, last week’s Heroic Hunk.
Unlike most Italian art which was one of a kind during this period, with the invention of the Gutenberg press in 1450 Durer’s work could be cut into wood and printed. One of those prints recently sold for over $200,000. The prints are dated from flaws in the original woodcut that was damaged over time. The one in this print has a problem with Eve’s arm and a patch of the tree.
Dürer was the son of a goldsmith. He showed artistic talent very early in life. Although he apprenticed in the goldsmith trade, he transferred his apprenticeship to painting and woodcut design. While he became extremely popular as a painter, he was also a master of paintings, drawings and engravings. He had many sponsors and was very prosperous. He did several self-portraits, the one included here might have qualified him for a Heroic Hunk himself.
Next Week, a VERY special Memorial Day Salute. Rita Bay