Lucas Cranach The Elder

Germany / 1472 - 1553 / wikipedia
Lucas Cranach the Elder was a staunch Protestant and a celebrated eroticist. He came from South Germany... and never absorbed the ideals of Italian Renaissance. His painted world is one of high craftsmanship – hard-carved, densely patterned, with wine-gum colors gleaming in gem-like segments. His business embraced propaganda both religious sides, Reformers and Catholics. He did portraits of Luther and grotesque peasants, altarpieces and comedy classical narratives, parades of serpentine nudes or elaborate costumes and hairdos.

Lucas Cranach the Elder (c. 1472 - 16 Oct. 1553); German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. Court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career. Known for his portraits of German princes and the leaders of the Protestant Reformation... becoming a close friend of Martin Luther. He also painted religious subjects... Throughout his career painted nude subjects drawn from mythology and religion. He had a large workshop and many works exist in different versions; his son Lucas Cranach the Younger, and others, continued to create versions of his father's works for decades after his death. Lucas Cranach the Elder has been considered the most successful German artist of his time.

Born at Kronach in upper Franconia, probably in 1472. His exact date of birth is unknown. He learned the art of drawing from his father Hans Maler (his surname meaning "painter" denoting his profession)... Later, the name of his birthplace was used for his surname, another custom of the times. How Cranach was trained is not known, but it was probably with local south German masters... There are also suggestions that Cranach spent some time in Vienna around 1500....

The first evidence of Cranach's skill as an artist comes in a picture dated 1504....
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First Collected by

Martha Schulman


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