The First Celebrity Couple
They were the first celebrity couple (avant-la-lèttre) and their story has been translated into more than 600 languages. I am of course talking about Eve and Adam. Their tale has been the subject of countless artists, including the German Renaissance artist Lucas Cranach the Elder who painted them on two separate panels in 1528. Almost 500 years old now, Cranach’s divine duo is thought to be inspired by Albrecht Dürer’s anatomy drawings and can seen in Florence at the Uffizi gallery.
The first thing I notice when looking at Cranach’s Eve & Adam, is how at ease they seem with each other. Their postures breathe familiarity, a sense of intimacy. This is a couple that has spent a lot of time together and knows everything about each other… or do they?
Everybody acquainted with the story of Adam and Eve knows their lives are about to change dramatically. Looking at Adam, as he scratches his head, you can almost feel his confusion, his hesitation. Didn’t God tell them not to eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Yet, that tasty piece of fruit in Eve’s hand just looks so appealing. If you look closely, you can even see perfect little teeth mark in the apple. Surely that can’t be wrong?
Actually, Eve herself looks pretty enchanting and her face seem to know or hide something… Did that bite she took already embed her with some special, secret knowledge? In the upper left corner of Eve’s painting, we can still see the serpent. He has only just whispered his poisonous words in her ear and all he has to do is sit back and watch as God’s grand plan unravels. Life will never be the same.
More snakes & naked ladies: Miss Salom & Lilith