Arm of Eve

Arm of Eve


Albrecht Dürer

(German, 1471-1528)

Point of brush and gray and black wash, brush and gray and black wash, heightened with white gouache

Support: Blue laid paper

Sheet: 34.4 x 26.7 cm (13 9/16 x 10 1/2 in.)

Gift of Alan Kennedy 1965.470


Arm of Eve is the only surviving preparatory drawing for Dürer’s life-size panels of Adam and Eve in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. With extraordinary economy of means, using only black and gray ink and a limited amount of wash and gouache for shading and heightening, Dürer suggested the grace and balance of the complete human form in this composition of a disembodied arm and hand. Such a study of a hand in ideal proportions cannot help but suggest the hand of the artist, a self-referential nod to his own abilities.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email