Erich Lessing

A simple domestic scene unfolds in this 13th-century stone relief, from Ste. Chapelle in Paris, as Adam prepares food while Eve lies in bed and nurses their new baby. Genesis 4:1 relates that “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.” These early references to sex in the Bible are mostly descriptive and very matter-of-fact. Importance is not placed on the act itself, but on the results—procreation—in fulfillment of God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) in order to supply future generations.