Adam and Eve Albrecht Durer Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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These lifesize paintings followed on three years after Durer had completed his Adam and Eve copper engravings

The breathtaking Museo del Prado in Madrid has held the paintings since around 1827 though their ownership before that is less clear. The two paintings stand at over two metres tall, helping to astound those lucky enough to make a visit to this internationally-significant art venue.

It is said that this series of two was heavily inspired by Italian art, specifically from a recent visit that Durer had made to the papal states. Many others would also take the journey to Italy in order to experience the centre of the European Renaissance. The likes of Diego Velazquez and Peter Paul Rubens would also find great inspiration here.

Whilst the Prado Museum focuses intently on native Spanish art, highlighted by Las Meninas, there is still great prominence given to the North Renaissance artists such as this work by Albrecht Durer. In truth, it holds a supreme collection that caters for pretty much all artistic tastes and they continue to acquire new artworks all the time.

Another aspect which underlines Durer's role as an innovative artist is that this is believed to have been the first ever lifesize nude portrait by any German artist. When we reflect on his work with nature, animals and insects in still life, he was clearly someone who went away from the norm. Despite the qualities and imagination that he held as an artist, those who are believed to have most influenced him in his early development are still relative unknowns - Andrea Mantegna, Quentin Matsys, Jacopo de' Barbari and Giulio Clovio.

The names above represent some of the finest Flemish and Italian artists from the 15th century but have since lost some of their academic prominence, which is a fashion that can sometimes come back in vogue as well as out. Several much loved artists today were practically ignored for centuries, and perhaps some of these artists will return to the public eye in future generations.

This popular topic, Adam and Eve, was also used by other famous artists such as Gustav Klimt, Masaccio, Michelangelo, Raphael and Rembrandt.