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

Tentoonstelling oude kunst uit het bezit van den internationalen handel

  • Rijksmuseum, 1936-07 to 1936-09
  • Jager, Janine, Verkaufte Kultur: Die sowjetischen Kunst- und Antiquitätenexporte 1919 - 1938, pp. 151-170
  • Morse, John D., Old Master Paintings in North America,1979, p. 84
  • The Art News, p. 5
  • Updike, J., Impressions, pp. 25-58
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best,2010, cat. 742 p. 334
  • Schmidt, James A., Pantheon, pp. 194-195, 35-36
  • The Connoisseur, p. 68
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum,1989, pp. 31-32
  • Matt Shaer, The Lost Maidens of Berlin,2018, pp.62-74
  • Friedlaender, Max J., Die Gemälde von Lucas Cranach,no. 164 p. 60
  • International Studio, p. 63
  • Norton Simon Museum, Selected Paintings at the Norton Simon Museum,1980, p. 35
  • Seldis, Henry J., Art News, p. 25
  • Los Angeles Magazine,
  • Tentoonstelling oude kunst uit het bezit van den internationalen handel,no. 35 p. 9
  • Steadman, David W., Art Journal,fig. 3 pp. 34-40
  • Updike, John, Just Looking: Essays on Art, pp. 28-29
  • Tentoonstelling van Schilderijen en Antiquiteiten geexposeerd door den Kunsthandel J. Goudstikker N.V.,nos. 8-9
  • Friedlaender, Max J. and Jakob Rosenberg, The Paintings of Lucas Cranach,no. 195 p. 108
  • Westheimer, Dr. Ruth ; Charles Sullivan, The Lover's Companion, pp. 76, 77
  • Selections from the Norton Simon Museum, Inc. Museum of Art,no. 5 pp. 32-33, 26
  • Yeide, Nancy H.; Akinsha, Konstantin; Walsh, Amy L., The AAM Guide to Provenance Research, pp. 14, 135-37
  • Koerner, Joseph Leo, Representations,fig. 14 p. 84
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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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