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Adam

Tullio Lombardo (Italian, ca. 1455–1532)

Date:
ca. 1490–95
Culture:
Italian, Venice
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
Overall: 6 ft. 3 1/2 in., 770lb. (191.8 cm, 349.2697kg)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
36.163
  • Description

    Tullio Lombardo came from a prestigious family of sculptors and architects in Venice. His tomb for Doge Andrea Vendramin (d. 1478) now in the basilica of S.S. Giovanni e Paolo, is the most lavish funerary monument of Renaissance Venice. It originally contained this lifesize figure of Adam, signed on the base by the sculptor.

    The figure of Adam is clearly classicized, as is the architectural framework derived from the Roman triumphal arch in which he was formerly paired with a figure of Eve. Adam is based on a combination of antique figures of Antinous and Bacchus, interpreted with an almost Attic simplicity. Further refinements are his meaningful glance and eloquent hands (one holding the Apple of Temptation) and the tree trunk adorned with a serpent and a grapevine, allusions to the Fall and Redemption of Man.

    Remarkable for the purity of its marble and the smoothness of its carving, Adam was the first monumental classical nude carved following antiquity; prudery led to its removal from display around 1810–19, when the monument was transferred to SS. Giovanni e Paolo.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: Engraved on front of plinth: TULLII.LOMBARDI.O.

  • Provenance

    by descent in Vendramin-Calergi family , Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi, Venice (ca. 1819–42) ; the duchesse de Berry , Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi, Venice (ca. 1844–65; sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 8–13, 1865, no. 2); Henri Dieudonné d'Artois, comte de Chambord , possibly Schloss Frohsdorf, near Vienna (until d. 1883) ; Princess Beatrix de Bourbon-Massimo (1893–? after 1921) ; Henry Pereire , boulevard de Courcelles, Paris (until 1932) ; by descent, Mme Henry Pereire (1932–March 1935; sold to Stiebel) ; [ Stiebel, 45, avenue de Montaigne, Paris (March 1935–July 1936, sold to Seligmann, Rey) ] ; [ Arnold Seligmann, Rey and Company, New York (July–December 1936; sold to MMA) ]

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
197822

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