Image: 25.2 x 9.7 cm (9 15/16 x 3 13/16 in.); Sheet: 25.2 x 9.7 cm (9 15/16 x 3 13/16 in.)
Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1966.6
Catalogue raisonné: Karlsruhe 2 ; Hollestein II.75.2
In Hans Baldung’s later rendition of Adam and Eve the reduction of setting—in which the Garden of Eden is reduced to a tree—brings the focus to the bodies of Adam and Eve and their physical interaction and desire. Baldung even eliminated the serpent, instead introducing a sinister element in the near-predatory Adam, cast in deep shadow as if emerging from the darkness. With such spare imagery overall, it is the audience, by looking, that is implicated in the first couple’s original sin and guilt.
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