Adam, Eve And The Tortoise ...

From the #HistoryOfUs series: Adam and Eve (The Fall), 1645/46

Adam and Eve (The Fall) (c. 1645/46) by Leonhard KernBode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Why on earth tie the eternal knot and get married? Isn’t the single life Paradise? For some people the wedding ring is like the Forbidden Fruit – no way! Just don’t let yourself get seduced!

This small ivory carving from 1645 shows Adam and Eve with the likenesses of the Great Elector Frederick William and his bride. It was probably a bridal gift. So all warnings come too late – the wedding has happened. And with no regrets, it seems.

Because with all the loving tenderness coming from this depiction, they can’t have done the wrong thing, right?

Adam alias Frederick William really seems to be needing that apple ...

... the way he’s sitting on that rock looking a little weak.

And here’s his agile bride, lovingly pressing the apple on him and probably whispering, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away, my Love.” She might add, “Take the dog for a walk.” Or, “Don’t forget to feed the tortoise.”

The tortoise? Wasn’t it a serpent that persuaded Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge? Instead of the crafty serpent, we have a comfy tortoise – symbol of the emotions and true married love.

And the dog behind Eve that Adam is giving a friendly tickle stands for loyalty and devotion.

Even the double lotus leaf covering Adam’s privates has a poistive meaning as a symbol for purity and the tranquility of the soul.

So thumbs up to marriage!

read more
Credits: Story

#HistoryOfUs series

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Google apps