Adam and Eve

Joachim Anthonisz Wtewael (1566–1638)
Adam and Eve, 1610–15
Oil on copper
15 1/8 x 11 13/16 in. (38.4 x 30.1 cm)
Private collection

Location: Octagon Room (adjacent to the Ante-Room)

The story of Adam and Eve is one of the most enduring in the history of art. With its momentous subject — the creation of humankind — and riveting themes of seduction, deceit, punishment, and redemption, it has long captivated the imagination of countless artists. Dutch painter Joachim Wtewael recounts the tale in an exquisite oil on copper executed between 1610 and 1615. Now on loan to The Frick Collection from a private collector, this cabinet picture is displayed in the Octagon Room (through February 2015), where it hangs with paintings by Jan Van Eyck and workshop, Hans Memling, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Wtewael’s forebears in the northern artistic tradition. Frick Director Ian Wardropper stated, “We are thrilled to present to the public this early Northern European painting, which complements our holdings in a number of ways — from its delicately depicted subject matter to the beautiful effect of its copper support. Furthermore, while Wtewael was less known to collectors like Henry Clay Frick one hundred years ago, fine examples by this artist — whose work is not overly abundant — have been increasingly sought after by American institutions over the last twenty years. We hope the public enjoys seeing the work for its own gemlike beauty in the context of our holdings and in the contemplative setting of the former Frick residence.” 

Press Release