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God Addressing Adam and Eve

Artist Johan Wierix (Flemish, 1549–ca. 1618)
Title God Addressing Adam and Eve
Date Ca. 1606–1615
Medium Brown ink on vellum
Dimensions Image: 6 1/2 × 8 1/2 in. (16.5 × 21.6 cm)
Sheet: 6 1/2 × 8 1/2 in. (16.5 × 21.6 cm)
Framed: 15 7/8 × 18 9/16 × 1 1/8 in. (40.3 × 47.1 × 2.9 cm)
Credit Line Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 79.22.1

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About this Work

Although best known as a printmaker, Johan Wierix produced a considerable number of miniature pen and ink drawings beginning in the 1590s. Using a meticulous engraving-like style, he employed tiny dots and hatch marks to create a sense of volume. Each of the three figures in this work has a slightly different tone, an effect that helps separate them from the unified landscape. The scene comes from the Book of Genesis and depicts a variation on the creation of Eve (with Adam shown pointing at his missing rib) or possibly God’s warning about the forbidden fruit. Wierix created at least five sets of small Genesis drawings. Although the detailed foliage in the Garden of Eden reflects a nothern tradition, the figures appear more classical in form. Since Wierix never traveled to Italy, he likely relied on reproductive engravings after ancient or Renaissiance prototypes.

1979, Indiana University Art Museum purchase from Richard J. Collins, Inc., Old Master Paintings and Drawings, New York, NY

December 1978–April 16, 1979, Richard J. Collins, Inc., Old Master Paintings and Drawings, New York, NY purchase from John Hardy, London, England [1]

?–1978, with John Hardy, London, England [2]

?–1909, Collection of Lord Amherst of Hackney, England [3]


[1] Purchase from Hardy noted in the invoice from dealer Richard J. Collins. Collins provides no additional information on Hardy other than his location, given as London.

[2] Further research is advisable to ascertain with complete certainty whether this is the London scholar-collector John Hardy, a noted expert in English furniture and decorative arts who worked at the Victoria & Albert Museum before joining Christie’s as a consultant in the 1980s. [“Scholar-Collector John Hardy’s historic pieces for sale at Christies,” The Art Newspaper, 30 April 2014]

[3] Per Collins dealer’s invoice. This is likely the first Lord of Hackney, William Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst (1835–1909), whose famous collection of rare books and art was once one of the largest and most distinguished collections in England. Amhurst was forced to sell off large parts of his library due to fraudulent transactions made by his attorney, but the rest of his collection remained with him intact until his death in 1909.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

October 25, 2014–January 25, 2015, Renaissance Drawings from Private Antwerp Collections, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp, Belgium

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"God Addressing Adam and Eve | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.