c. 1530
Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, 1472-1553)
Not on View

The son of a painter, Cranach was born in the town of Kronach in Franconia. In 1504, Frederick the Wise of Saxony called him to Wittenberg, where he became Court Painter. Cranach received his noble patron's coat of arms in 1508. This emblem, a winged serpent bearing a ring in its mouth, can be seen on the trunk of the tree beside Adam.

Cranach's treatment of forms and space is rather abstract, even though our initial impression may focus on their apparent naturalism. The highly linear, ornamental manner, and corresponding emotional detachment, are consistent with the Mannerist aesthetic of the sixteenth century. This secular treatment of an Old Testament subject was meant for pleasure rather than instruction. Adam and Eve were probably painted for a member of the court of the Elector and intended to hang in domestic surroundings.


  • Artist Name: Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, 1472-1553)
  • Title: Adam
  • Date: c. 1530
  • Medium: Oil on panel (one of a pair)
  • Dimensions: 75 x 27-1/2 in. (190.5 x 69.9 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1971.1.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

Said to have been in the Stroganoff Collection.
Located in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Kiev, from around 1919, transferred June 1927 to;
Lavra Reserve Museum, Kiev, inv. no. 11,390, as “[single] picture of Adam and Eve with defects,” unattributed, transferred 1928 to;
Museum of Art, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Kiev, inv. no. 5741, as single, cradled panel, 1.87 × 1.405 m, removed by Soviet government 29 September 1929 to the Antiquariat Leningrad (sale [Stroganoff Collection], Rudolph Lepke’s Kunst-Auctions-Haus, Berlin, 12–13 May 1931, no. 44; sold as a pair with Eve for 47,000 Reichsmarks to);
[Jacques Goudstikker (1897–1940), Amsterdam, appropriated 1940 through];
[Alois Miedl (1903–1990), Amsterdam to];
Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering (1893–1946), Berlin;
Recovered 1945 by Allied Forces and transferred to;
Stichting Nederlands Kunstbezit, inv. no. NK 1693;
Claimed 1962 by and transferred 1966 to Commander George Stroganoff Scherbatoff (1898–1976), New York and Connecticut, and sold 1971 through;
[Spencer A. Samuels & Co. Ltd., New York, to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

Tentoonstelling van Schilderijen en Antiquiteiten geexposeerd door den Kunsthandel J. Goudstikker N. V.

  • Rotterdam, Rotterdamsche Kunstkring, 1936-12-17 to 1937-01-10

  • Netherlands, to

[on loan]

  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), 1971-02-26 to 1972-11-15

Tentoonstelling oude kunst uit het bezit van den internationalen handel

  • Rijksmuseum, 1936-07 to 1936-09

Selections from the Norton Simon, Inc. Museum of Art

  • Princeton University Art Museum, 1972-12-03 to 1974-07-17
  • Seldis, Henry J., Art News, p. 25
  • Steadman, David W., Art Journal, fig. 3 pp. 34-40
  • The Connoisseur, p. 68
  • International Studio, p. 63
  • The Art News, 1931, p. 5
  • Friedlaender, Max J., Die Gemälde von Lucas Cranach, 1932, no. 164 p. 60
  • Tentoonstelling oude kunst uit het bezit van den internationalen handel, 1936, no. 35 p. 9
  • Tentoonstelling van Schilderijen en Antiquiteiten geexposeerd door den Kunsthandel J. Goudstikker N.V., 1937, nos. 8-9
  • Selections from the Norton Simon Museum, Inc. Museum of Art, 1972, no. 5 pp. 32-33, 26
  • Friedlaender, Max J. and Jakob Rosenberg, The Paintings of Lucas Cranach, 1978, no. 195 p. 108
  • Los Angeles Magazine, 1979,
  • Morse, John D., Old Master Paintings in North America, 1979, p. 84
  • Norton Simon Museum, Selected Paintings at the Norton Simon Museum, 1980, p. 35
  • Koerner, Joseph Leo, Representations, 1985, fig. 14 p. 84
  • Updike, J., Impressions, 1985, pp. 25-58
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, pp. 31-32
  • Schmidt, James A., Pantheon, 1992, pp. 194-195, 35-36
  • Updike, John, Just Looking: Essays on Art, 2001, pp. 28-29
  • Jager, Janine, Verkaufte Kultur: Die sowjetischen Kunst- und Antiquitätenexporte 1919 - 1938, 2001, pp. 151-170
  • Westheimer, Dr. Ruth ; Charles Sullivan, The Lover's Companion, 2002, pp. 76, 77
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 742 p. 334
  • Matt Shaer, The Lost Maidens of Berlin, 2018, pp.62-74
  • Thea Caillieux, Eva und Adam - Adam und Eva, 2022, Abb. 17 pp. 86-90, p.88 (ill.)
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Christ and the Twelve Apostles Lucas Cranach the Elder 1510-15
Eve Lucas Cranach the Elder c. 1530

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