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The Fourth Day

Fritz Eichenberg


wood engraving

4 1/16" x 3 1/4"

Fritz Eichenberg was a celebrated German-American printmaker who worked primarily in wood engraving. His art is tied to hundreds of illustrations he created for periodicals and books, many of them literary classics. He realized several versions of the Genesis creation narrative as found in the first book of the Hebrew Bible. He could combine all seven days of creation in a single image, spread the story over seven separate prints, or extract select groupings. In Eichenberg's The First Four Days of Creation (1976), the artist chose the very beginning days of God's formation of the world. What makes this phase important in biblical commentaries, particularly those of St. Augustine, is because it sets the physical stage for vegetable, animal, and human life that appear on the fifh and sixth days. The first three plates of Eichenberg's portfolio are dramatic depictions of wind-swept seas, the emergence of light, the sky, and earth. The final plate is a serene landscape of foliage and trees presided over by a radiant sun. The Garden of Eden is ready for what follows.


Gift of Dr. James A. Dewberry