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Adam Delving at Canterbury Cathedral, Kent

Origins of the window | The story of Adam | The style | The technique


The story of Adam

The geneology windows feature dramatic single figures, varied in posture and lively in composition, nearly all of them seated. Adam is unique as a standing figure. He is labouring by the sweat of his brow, for this is clearly Adam after the Fall. Knotted round his waist is the skin of an animal, still with its hoofs on. Apart from this he is naked, and with painfully bare feet, he digs with a pointed mattock. Adamís whole body expresses the desperate effort of his labour and the composition is given added strength and immediacy by the way his elbow and his heel trespass across the red border. His name is written in capitals over his head, picked out in white against black.

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