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Eve, the Serpent, and DeathEnlarge image

Eve, the Serpent, and Death, c. 1510-1515

Hans Baldung (called Grien)
German, 1485 - 1545
oil on wood, likely linden
64 x 32.5 cm
Purchased 1972
National Gallery of Canada (no. 17011)

The themes of the Fall of Man and the Dance of Death, as well as influences of the Protestant Reformation and Renaissance humanism, come together in Baldung's evocative and erotic work. Lust and death are linked, as an enticing Eve, apple in hand, grasps the tail of the serpent while casting a veiled glance at a fallen Adam, who, in a decomposed state, has been transformed into the figure of Death. The Northern Renaissance artist, Baldung, who probably studied with Albrecht Dürer, produced several memento mori in painting and print, incorporating secular and religious iconography.

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