Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528); Adam and Eve;

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 1
Albrecht Dürer
(German, 1471-1528)
Adam and Eve

Sold for US$ 122,000 inc. premium

Prints

4 May 2010, 10:00 PDT

San Francisco

Old Master Prints
Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528)
Adam and Eve (B. 1; M., Holl. 1), 1504
Engraving, a fine Meder IIc impression with very good clarity of detail, watermark Bull's Head (M. 62), before the crack in the bark of the tree under Adam's left arm, the scratch on Adam's hip still discernible, trimmed to the subject, generally in very good condition, faint horizontal soft creasing through center of sheet, upper right corner lost and repaired, very skillfully made-up area at upper left sheet edge, there are a few expertly repaired tears and filled-in areas, mainly along the sheet edges, a few thin spots (not visible to recto).
sheet 9 3/4 x 7 1/2in

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    A. W. Scholle (Lugt 2923a)
    Albert W. Scholle (1860-1917) was a senior member of the firm of Scholle Brothers & Co., bankers, in New York and San Francisco. Mr. Scholle was born in San Francisco, educated at the University of California, and in charge of the San Francisco end of Scholle Brothers for several years before moving to New York. He possessed an impressive collection of old master and modern prints, many of which were dispersed to friends and family after his death.
    With Kennedy Galleries, New York (their stock No. 2838/a45732 in pencil verso)

    Under the influence of Italian theory, Dürer became increasingly drawn to the ideal that the perfect human form corresponded to a system of proportion and measurements. His fascination with ideal form is manifest in his engraving of Adam and Eve. The first man and woman are shown in nearly symmetrical idealized poses: each with the weight on one leg, the other leg bent, and each with one arm angled slightly upward from the elbow and somewhat away from the body. The figure of Adam is reminiscent of the Hellenistic Apollo Belvedere, excavated in Italy late in the 15th century. This engraving is one of the most celebrated works of the artist's career. His other well-known works include the Apocalypse woodcuts, Knight, Death, and the Devil, 1513, Saint Jerome in his Study, 1514, and Melencolia I, 1514.

    This engraving shows the Fall of Man: the moment Eve took the apple from the snake and gave it to Adam. Adam holds a branch of the mountain ash, the Tree of Life. Eve has taken a twig off the fig: the forbidden Tree of Knowledge. The parrot and the serpent symbolize wisdom and betrayal. Dürer also represents the medieval concept of the four human temperaments which are symbolized by animals: the cat is choleric, the rabbit sanguine, the ox phlegmatic, and the elk melancholic, which lead man to desire and sinfulness. The little mountain goat stands on the very edge of the cliff, telling us of the Fall to come.

    Dürer's mastery of the engraving technique is evident in the warm glow of the human skin, the slipperiness of the snake, the twists and curls of Adam and Eve's hair, the smooth, downy or bristly quality of the animals coats, and the distinctively rendered texture of the tree bark and leaves.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note: additional pencil notations on the reverse are those of the art gallery, Frederick Keppel & Co., Inc., New York
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins and Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Wine & Whisky

27.5% on the first $12,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $12,500 up to and including $600,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $600,000 up to and including $6,000,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of $6,000,000.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card for returning clients only. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

App