Cranach - Eve
Lucas Cranach der Ältere
Grunewald hunting lodge
24.04.2019 - 18:09
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_SPSG_GKI1184
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR198
Eve[CDA 2012]
Lucas Cranach der Ältere [Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerStiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg
RepositoryGrunewald hunting lodge
Dimensions of support: 175 x 66 cm [Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011]
Painting on lime wood (Tilia sp.) [Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011] [Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 199-200, No. III.19]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia below the tree: winged serpent (with elevated wings) and date '1537'
The painting depicts Eve as a life-size nude. Her body is turned frontally to the viewer and although her head is turned slightly to the left she looks directly at the viewer. Eve wears her long blond hair loose. In her left hand, which is raised, she holds an apple from which she has already taken a bite. In her right hand, which is also raised, she holds onto the branch of a tree around which the serpent has wound itself. The trunk of the tree extends along the left side of the painting. Eve stands on stony ground in front of dark green undergrowth, which is in contrast to the light flesh paint. A stag lies behind her and also looks out at the viewer.
- since 1793 recorded in the Berlin palace
[Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 199-200, No. III.19]
Berlin 2009/10, Cat. No. III.19
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Most, Wolf et al. 200988, 90, 94-95Figs. 8-10
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009 A199-200No. III.19Fig. III.19
Schoen 2001117-125
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979109No. 198Fig. 198
Börsch-Supan 196445-46No. 48
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932166
Rumpf 1794138
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
‘The stag lying behind Eve reminds us of the original mutual trust between man and animals before the Fall of Man; it can also be interpreted as a Christian symbol, as the stag is said to be the enemy of the serpent and thus alludes to salvation from the original sin through Christ.’
[Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 199-200, No. III.19]
'The first human couple was depicted here by Cranach as two life-size nude figures on separate panels. The tree, which is split down the centre, indicates that they belong together and were originally displayed next to each other. […]
Inspired by Dürer’s famous engraving (1504) and his paintings (1507) Cranach and his workshop have depicted Adam and Eve in more than 50 versions, either on two separate panels or together on one, in different sizes and poses as well as against different backgrounds. The function of these paintings has not yet been completely clarified and probably varied. They may have been used as wing panels, but are also associated with the ‚Weiberlisten‘ and warn against female seduction and a disregard of God’s commandments. As the paintings in Berlin were executed in 1537 together with the Passion cycle they may also like it have been intended for the collegial church (Stiftskirche); however as yet no evidence confirming their use as wing panels could be found. Therefore it is conceivable that they were displayed as an ‘Exempla of Virtue’ in a corresponding decorative scheme in a room of the Berlin palace.'
[Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 199-200, No. III.19]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 01.01.2010
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach der Ältere - Grunewald hunting lodge - Eve - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing

    - dry drawing material, dark chalk; possibly in combination with a fluid medium and a brush

    - freehand underdrawing
    - delicate, fine lines

    - relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours; no representation of volume

    - minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define form


    - Lucas Cranach the Younger (?)

    - possibly with reference to a preparatory drawing

    [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]
    • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
    • photographed by: Ingo Sandner