Attributed to Adriaen Isenbrant

Haarlem or Antwerp ca. 1485 – Bruges 1551

Paradise with the Temptation of Eve with the Forbidden Fruits (Genesis 3:6)

Oil on panel
H. 21,5 cm. | W. 5,5 cm.


Collection Wertheimer | Paris;
With Kunsthandel P. de Boer | Amsterdam | 1953;
Dutch Private collection since 1953 | Thence by inheritance

Rotterdamsche Kunstkring | Rotterdam | April 1953;
Singer Museum | Laren | Nederlandse primitieven uit Nederlands particulier bezit | 1 Juli – 10 September 1961 | Cat. nr. 48

Boon, K. G. (1961). Nederlandse primitieven uit Nederlands particulier bezit. Laren: Singer Museum, p. 14 

Wilson, J.C. (1995). ‘Adriaen Isenbrant and the problem of his oeuvre’ In: Oud Holland, CIX, pp. 1-17;
Ainsworth, M.W. & Christiansen, K. (1998). From Van Eyck to Bruegel. Early Netherlandish painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 370-373

The present work in recorded at the RKD, The Hague, under nr. 45161, as attributed to Adriaen Isenbrant


The oeuvre of Adriaen Isenbran(d)t (or Ysenbran(d)t) spans the final years of Early Netherlandish painting and the first of the Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting of the Northern Renaissance. The details of Isenbrant’s life remain obscure. He became a master in the Bruges Guild of St. Luke in 1510 and must have enjoyed a successful career, as he held various offices through the 1530s. He is thought to have worked in Gerard David’s studio, either as an apprentice or a highly-skilled journeyman. Although he was a successful and prolific painter, no specific works by his hand are clearly documented. It has been observed that the entire body of paintings identified as being by Isenbrant is a conglomeration of different artists’ works that reflect the homogeneity of compositional forms in Bruges in the first half of the sixteenth century, as well as the considerable influence of Gerard David on his contemporaries. Accordingly, attributions to Isenbrant, including the present work, should be regarded as belonging within what might be called the ‘Isenbrant group’. The responsible workshop specialized in religious subjects and devotional paintings, which were executed in a conservative style in the tradition of the Early Netherlandish painting of the previous century.

The present panel was most likely the right side wing of a rectangular triptych, of which other examples are knows (e.g. Adoration of the Kings, coll. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, inv./ 13.32a-c). These small triptychs were most likely intended of private devotion within a domestic setting. The present picture relates to Adam and Eve (The Fall of Man: Adam takes the fruit from the snake), oil on panel, H. 40 cm. W. 30 cm., kept in the collection on the Kunsthalle in Bremen ( 170-1836/99). A second version, oil on panel, H. 48 cm. W. 37 cm. is kept in the coll. of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco ( 1962.10), a third, oil on panel, H. 46 cm. W. 26 cm. is kept in a private collection in New York (RKD nr. 45159).