Adam and Eve, Max Beckmann
Max Beckmann
Adam and Eve
DE
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Max Beckmann

Adam and Eve, 1936 (1979)


Dimensions
84.5 x 33.3 cm
diameter
36.8 cm
Physical Description
Bronze
Inventory Number
DBP003
Acquisition
Deutsche Bank Collection at the Städel Museum
Status
Not on display

Texts

About the Work

Throughout his career, Beckmann conceived of himself as a painter and printmaker. In the mid-1930s, he nevertheless began working three-dimensionally. Eight of his sculptures – cast in bronze only after his death – survived. They are closely related to his two-dimensional works in terms of form and content alike. Adam and Eve bears a reference to one of Beckmann’s key motifs, the conflict between the sexes. He endowed the figure of Adam with self-portrait-like features and placed a tiny Eve in his right hand. A serpent portends the impending calamity, the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Having wound its way around Adam’s body, it looks out at us over his shoulder. In deliberate defiance of the bodily ideal propagated by the National Socialists – who had treated the artist with immense hostility – the figure of Adam is crudely and clumsily formed. It was during the presentation of his works in the “Degenerate Art” exhibition that Beckmann left Germany and went into exile in Holland.

Audio

  • 01:00
    Basic information
  • 01:33
    Focus on cultural history
  • 01:37
    Focus on religion

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Adam and Eve
Sculptor (male)
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Bronze
Material
Technique

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Creditline
Sammlung Deutsche Bank im Städel Museum, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Foto: U. Edelmann
Acquisition
Deutsche Bank Collection at the Städel Museum

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Persons Shown
Illustrated Passage
  • Bibel, Altes Testament, Genesis 2
  • Bibel, Altes Testament, Genesis 3

Iconclass

Primary
  • 71A42 Temptation and Fall (scenes with both Adam and Eve)
  • 31A235 sitting figure
  • 41D9 (showing oneself) undressed, quasi-nude
  • 25F42 snakes

Research and Discussion

Conservation and Restoration

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Last update

06.09.2021