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Arm of Eve

Arm of Eve

1507

Albrecht Dürer

(German, 1471-1528)

Point of brush and gray and black wash, brush and gray and black wash, heightened with white gouache

Support: Blue laid paper

Sheet: 34.4 x 26.7 cm (13 9/16 x 10 1/2 in.)

Gift of Alan Kennedy 1965.470

Description

Arm of Eve is the only surviving preparatory drawing for Dürer’s life-size panels of Adam and Eve in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. With extraordinary economy of means, using only black and gray ink and a limited amount of wash and gouache for shading and heightening, Dürer suggested the grace and balance of the complete human form in this composition of a disembodied arm and hand. Such a study of a hand in ideal proportions cannot help but suggest the hand of the artist, a self-referential nod to his own abilities.

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