Adam and Eve, by Beham (1543, c.)

Adam and Eve, by Beham (1543)
The fall of Adam and Eve, by Beham (1525, c.)


Adam and Eve, by Beham (1543, c.)


"For disobeying God’s orders and eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam and Eve received the punishment of mortality, hard work, and pain. A skeleton, an obvious symbol of death, forms the trunk of the fatal tree, and the evil serpent winds its way through the skeleton’s hollow torso. Sebald Beham’s sensuous intertwining of the nudes, snake, and skeleton blatantly marks this depiction as a sexual awakening. While Adam is entirely naked, the gesture of Eve’s free hand both covers and accentuates her newfound sexuality." (Description from Art Institute of Chicago, US,, Archived in:

Gender perspective: Unified representation of death for the two sexes. In the case of the first image, the genital area of the skeleton shows a strange representation in the pelvic area, like a hole or a jewel, which can be interpreted as female. On the other hand, this area is not covered by the hand, as in Ada
m's case. Death and the devil are intertwined into a single image beyond gender. 


Beham, Hans Sebald (1500-1550)


Image 1: Adam and Eve, by Beham (1543)
From Art Institute of Chicago, US.

Archived in:

Reference number: 1921.316

Image 2: The fall of Adam and Eve, by Beham (1525, c.)
From The British Museum, London, UK.

Archived in:

© The Trustees of The British Museum
Asset number: 82228001
Museum number: 1874,0711.1430


1543, c.


Image 1: Engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
Dimensions: 8.2 × 5.7 cm

Image 2: Woodcut.
Dimensions: 34.2 × 25.3 cm