(Flemish, c. 1549–after 1615)
Pen and brown ink on parchment
Sheet: 9.5 x 12.4 cm (3 3/4 x 4 7/8 in.); Image: 9 x 11.9 cm (3 9/16 x 4 11/16 in.)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1994.16
This artist's version of the Garden of Eden includes a turkey, a bird that was unknown in Europe until the 16th century, when it was imported from the Americas.
Originally this exquisite sheet belonged to a series of 21 drawings by the Antwerp artist Jan Wierix illustrating the creation and early history of man as recounted in Genesis. In this scene, an angel casts Adam and Eve out of paradise for their transgressions. Precious in its delicate pen strokes and careful detail, the drawing describes Eden as a microcosm populated by an array of animals whose tranquility is in the midst of being interrupted by human actions. Pen and ink drawings on vellum such as this were prized by collectors, who valued them as miniature paintings to be displayed in albums and sometimes framed on the wall.
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