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Mark Harden's Artchive Durer, Albrecht
Adam and Eve
1504
Engraving
24.8 x 19.2 cm (9 3/4 x 7 1/2 in.)

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From E.H. Gombrich, "The Story of Art":

"Among the first results of these studies, which were to engage him
throughout his life, was the engraving of Adam and Eve, in which he
embodied all his new ideas of beauty and harmony, and which he proudly
signed with his full name in Latin, ALBERTUS DURER NORICUS FACIEBAT
1504 ('Albrecht Durer of Nuremberg made this engraving in 1504').

"It may not be easy for us to see immediately the achievement which
lay in this engraving. For the artist is speaking a language which is less
familiar to him than that which he used in our preceding example. The
harmonious forms at which he arrived by diligent measuring and balancing
with compass and ruler are not as convincing and beautiful as their Italian
and classical models. There is some slight suggestion of artificiality, not
only in their form and posture, but also in the symmetrical composition.
But this first feeling of awkwardness soon disappears when one realizes that
Durer has not abandoned his real self to worship new idols, as lesser artists
did. As we let him guide us into the Garden of Eden, where the mouse lies
quietly beside the cat, where the elk, the cow, the rabbit and the parrot do
not fear the tread of human feet, as we look deep into the grove where the
tree of knowledge grows, and watch the serpent giving Eve the fatal fruit
while Adam stretches out his hand to receive it, and as we notice how
Durer has contrived to let the clear outline of their white and delicately
modelled bodies show up against the dark shade of the forest with its
rugged trees, we come to admire the first serious attempt to transplant the
ideals of the South into northern soil."