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Adam en Eva

Georg Petel

Rubens was an enthusiastic collector of antique sculpture. He was, however, also interested in the work of contemporary sculptors.

His own collection of sculpture must have consisted primarily of small so-called "cabinet pieces", which were cut out of ivory by his favourite sculptors, to his own specifications. The German sculptor Georg Petel was also among this select group of artists. Petel spent some time in Antwerp around 1624-1628, during which time he worked closely with Rubens. Rubens owned three sculptures by this artist, including this splendid ivory of the first humans.

Ivory carvers mainly worked in miniature because of the nature of the material. An elephant's tusk, after all, is only so large.



  • Georg Petel (1593-1633)
  • Adam and Eve
  • Ivory