The Fall (1511) by Albrecht Durer

The Fall - Albrecht Durer - 1511

Artwork Information

TitleThe Fall
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationBritish Museum, London, UK

About The Fall

“The Fall” is a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer created in 1511, representing a religious scene from the Northern Renaissance period. Part of “The Small Passion” series, this artwork can be found in the British Museum in London, UK. The piece is done in a medium that emphasizes bold contrasts and intricate details characteristic of Dürer’s work.

The image shows the Biblical scene of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden at the moment of original sin, captured with a high level of detail. Adam stands to the left with Eve to the right; both are depicted with idealized human forms as was typical during the Renaissance. Eve is reaching out to take an apple from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge, an act which is being watched over by the serpent, who entices them to disobey God. Intricate foliage surrounds the figures, and various animals can be seen in the background, including a cat, an elk, an ox, and a rabbit, which may symbolize the four temperaments, a common belief in Medieval and Renaissance medicine that linked human dispositions with animals. The dense forest setting suggests the richness of paradise and the gravity of the moment before the fall. Dürer’s monogram is visible in the lower right corner, ensuring his authorship of this precise and evocative woodcut.

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