Eve’s breast as the seductive apple for Adam

Max Beckmann, “Adam and Eve”

We see that both, Adam and Eve are trying to hide their sexual organs, but while Adam’s hand knows too well the magic power of masturbatory touch, Eve seems oblivious, as though she hasn’t embarked on this “sensational” miracle that can move clouds yet. She is really trying to hide what she doesn’t know yet until the time will come.

Adam seems to be a bit smarter. Eve, may be, pretty but her gaze is vacant, as if, she is blind – it’s not understandable whether she can see or not. Adam’s face is activated by his experience that he better hide his diffused sexual intentionality, and for this reason his space-piercing eyes are so inquisitive – he senses danger and is on alert that in any moment he’ll be discovered and he is frightened.

The serpent is much more entangled with Eve, than with Adam, can it be that the serpent is… her mother? Pay attention to the serpent’s tail is coiled around Eve’s leg, and its head is turning away from Adam next to her. It appears that the serpent agrees with Eve’s destiny with Adam only as God’s instructions without any voluntary participation.

Adam is hiding his “kingly scepter” and at the same time makes it seen while directing it towards the world in universal manly manner. But the “frank ambiguity” of this gesture is out-franked by the exclamatory denotation of Eve pushing her breast towards Adam – with her status as a beginner she cannot be sure of this gesture – it’s, obviously the will of God which will make it possible – Adam better be occupied with certain pleasures and be pacified by it, otherwise even God may not know what can happen. Adam “should” learn that sex is not an autonomous pleasure seeking function, but a noble and responsible “reproductive/procreative” necessity.

Eve the size of Adam’s rib or Eve as a hatchling out of the Serpent’s Egg

Max Beckmann, “Adam and Little Eve”

What is Adam looking at? The horizon? Depth of space? Clouded transition between heaven and earth? But, perhaps, Adam is not looking at all – may be – he is blind, or is overwhelmed by his responsibility of caring about Eve. Look at his pompous posture of keeping Eve on his palm.

May be, Adam’s gaze is paralyzed. Can it be that he bitten by the snake, by the very Biblical serpent became paralyzed, frozen, may be – petrified by the snake’s poison. Perhaps, it is in this condition Beckmann’s inspiration saw Adam in the first place and then the artist decided that sculpting Adam is a proper way to represent him.

To nurture and protect Eve was the basic task for Adam, which God assigned to him while determining the meaning of the whole human history. Here, we can sense that being temporarily paralyzed, gaze without looking around was the first phase of Adam’s learning to become what was later named… a husband – of his wife, her protector and provider, and father of their children! It seems, that something like family values was in God’s imaginative intuition from the beginning.

We see snake’s head on Adam’s shoulder, it is like a tireless guardian of Adam’s task for all times ahead. Eve will grow – become more adult and experienced and soon will multiplied together with Adam into human race of all versatile variations. Yes, Adam and Eve will change, although in a way remain the same in a pluralistic way. Isn’t it the same with the very institution of marriage which while “radically changing” stays the same… in its “sanctified” essence?

According to Beckmann‘s sculpture, Adam and Eve’s union is not only a symbol of amorous unity and marital bonds, but of heterosexual symbiosis. Isn’t the serpent’s poison making Beckmann’s Adam petrified inflicts the same petrification on the social institution of marriage, although it’s corrected (and by this stabilized) by the financial taxation through divorce and encouraged by financial benefits to its loyalists.