(b. before 1315, ?, d. 1355, Venezia)

Adam and Eve

c. 1350
Palazzo Ducale, Venice

The oldest part of the Doge's Palace is now the façade facing the quay, with its 13th-century sculptures at the corners of the building. They are attributed to Filippo Calendario or certain Lombard artists, like the Raverti or Bregno families. On the side facing the Ponte della Paglia they represent Tobias and the Angel Raphael and the Drunkenness of Noah; towards Piazzetta San Marco are the Archangel Michael and Adam and Eve.

The biblical first couple are placed diagonally across the corner. Between them stands a figtree along which the serpent is coiled. They are turned toward the observer, showing their differing degrees of complicity in this key event. Eve holds a fig (rather than an apple) in her right hand and points with the index finger of her left hand toward Adam, whose behaviour is contradictory: while he is himself reaching for a fig, he is holding up his right hand in front of his breast, as though to fend off misfortune.

Calendario's works, executed between the beginning of construction of the Palazzo in 1340 and his death, are among the finest late Gothic works in Venice.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.