Albrecht DÜRER
Museo del Prado, Madrid

his artist was a contemporary of Michelangelo and known for his nudes but with a different kind of nudity that we have come to know and love in Michelangelo's naked men. Even though the legendary progenitors of humanity were naked, an apple leaf covers the genitals of the two. One has to look for other physical features to discover which one was the "first father" as both look very feminine on first glance. 16th Century artists (Michelangelo excepted) did not feel comfortable painting nude males. Nude females were more acceptable because it was rich males (business men and bishops) who could afford them. Also, notice how firmly Eve holds for the forbidden fruit. She is portrayed in religion as the seducer and cause of man's woes. Adam, on the other hand, holds only with two fingers the branch of the apple's stem. He is painted as the reluctant sinner lead into error by a woman! Men, not women, wrote the Bible stories, and their bias is seen from the start. The same bias against women was often carried over into the work of artists.