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CRANACH

Lucas Cranach the Elder
(1472-1553)

Lucas Cranach the Elder: German painter, etcher and woodcut designer. He was named after Kronach in southern Germany, presumably his place of birth. His early years are obscure, but by c1500, he seems to have settled in Vienna. Here he associated with the humanists of the recently founded university, and two particularly fine portraits, of a university lecturer and his wife, date from this period (Johannes Cuspinian and Anna, both Winterthur, Reinhart Collection). In Vienna Cranach also painted his earliest known religious subjects, of a type which associates him with the Danube School, the paintings usually being set in vast pine woods and mountainous landscapes (e.g. Rest on the Flight into Egypt, 1504, Berlin). By c1505 he had transferred to Wittenberg, securing appointment as court painter to the electors of Saxony. He was ennobled, served as burgomaster for some years, and ran a large and flourishing workshop, which included an apothecary, printing works and bookshop.

In Wittenberg Cranach became close friends with Martin Luther, painting several portraits of him and designing propaganda woodcuts for him. These woodcuts, among the best of his later works, include the illustrations for the first German translation of the New Testament in 1522. His commitment to Protestantism did not, however, preclude him from working for Catholic patrons. A fine portraitist, he appears to have been one of the first to paint, or perhaps was the inventor of, the full-length independent portrait (e.g. The Duke of Saxony and The Duchess, 1514, Dresden, Gemädegalerie), these works pre-dating the earliest Italian examples, such as those by Moretto. Another genre developed by Cranach was that of the erotic nude, particularly popular with the private collectors who formed the bulk of his clientele. Usually in some mythological guise or another, the figures represent nymphs or goddesses, sometimes wearing only a very elaborate plumed hat and some jewellery, calculated to further enhance the nudity (e.g. The Judgement of Paris, c1530, New York, Metropolitan Museum). His paintings are signed with a distinctive winged snake and the monogram LC, although this does not guarantee that the work is not just a shop piece. His two sons, Hans (d 1537) and Lucas the Younger (1515-86), followed his style and continued the family workshop.

- From The Bulfinch Guide to Art History

 CRANACH_LAMENTATION

CRANACH, LUCAS the Elder The Lamentation 1538 Oil on panel 23 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 CRANACH_CRANACH_VENUS

CRANCH the Elder, Lucas Venus and Cupid c. 1530 Oil on linden 65 1/8 x 24 3/16 in. (167 x 62 cm) Gemaeldegalerie, Berlin

 CRANACH_CRANACH_LUCRETIA

CRANACH the Elder, Lucas Lucretia 1533 Oil on red beechwood 14 1/2 x 9 3/16 in. (37.3 x 23.9 cm) Gemaeldegalerie, Berlin

 CRANACH_CRANACH_JUDITH

CRANCH the Elder, Lucas Judith Victorious c. 1530 Oil on beech 29 1/4 x 21 13/16 in. (75 x 56 cm) Jagdschloss Grunewald, Berlin

cranach_Virgin_and_Child_in_a_Grape_Arbor

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Virgin and Child in a Grape Arbor. c.1525. Oil on wood. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia

cranach_Portrait_of_a_Knight_with_Two_Sons

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of a Knight with Two Sons. 1518-1520. Oil on wood. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

cranach_The_Judgment_of_Paris

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Judgment of Paris. 1530. Oil on panel. Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, Germany

cranach_Cupid_Complaining_to_Venus

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Cupid Complaining to Venus. c.1530s. Oil on wood. National Gallery, London, UK

cranach_Judith_with_the_Head_of_Holofernes

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Judith with the Head of Holofernes. c.1530. Oil on wood. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

cranach_The_Crucifixion

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Crucifixion. 1502. Oil on wood. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

cranach_A_Stag_Hunt_(detail)

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. A Stag Hunt (detail). 1529. Oil on wood. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

cranach_Venus_and_Cupid

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Venus and Cupid. Oil on wood. Art Museum, Bucharest, Romania

cranach_Virgin_and_Child

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Virgin and Child. 1537. Oil on wood. Art Museum, Bucharest, Romania.

cranach_Venus_Standing_in_a_Landscape

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Venus Standing in a Landscape. 1529. Oil on wood. Louvre, Paris, France

cranach_Portrait_of_Henry_the_Devout_of_Saxony

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Henry the Devout of Saxony. 1514. Oil on wood. Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany

cranach_Portrait_of_a_Lady

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of a Lady. 1526. Oil on wood. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

cranach_Portrait_of_Martin_Luther

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Martin Luther. 1525. Tempera on wood. Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland

cranach_The_Betrothal_of_St

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Betrothal of St. Catherine of Alexandria. c.1516. Oil on wood. Szepmuveseti Muzeum, Budapest, Hungary

cranach_The_Appearance_of_an_Angel_before_Joachim

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Appearance of an Angel before Joachim. 1516. Oil on wood. Szepmuveseti Muzeum, Budapest, Hungary

cranach_est_on_the_Flight_to_Egypt

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Lucas Cranach the Elder.Rest on the Flight to Egypt. 1504. Oil tempera on wood. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

cranach_Cardinal_Albrecht_of_Brandenburg_before_the_Crucified_Christ

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg before the Crucified Christ. c.1520-1530. Oil on wood. Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany

cranach_Hercules_and_Omphale

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Hercules and Omphale. 1537. Oil tempera on wood. Herzog-Anton-Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig, Germany

cranach_The_Water_Nymph

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Water Nymph. 1518. Oil on wood. Museum der Bilden Kunste, Leipzig, Germany.

cranach_Portrait_of_Martin_Luther's_Mother_Margaretha

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Martin Luther's Mother Margaretha. 1527. Oil on wood. Wartburg Stiftung, Eisenach, Germany.

cranach_The_Saxon_Princesses_(Sibyl,_Emilia_and_Sidonia_of_Saxe)

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Saxon Princesses (Sibyl, Emilia and Sidonia of Saxe). c.1530. Oil on wood. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

cranach_Judith_Dining_with_Holofernes

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Judith Dining with Holofernes. 1531. Oil on wood. Schlossmuseum, Gotha

cranach_Venus_and_Cupid

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Venus and Cupid. 1509. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

cranach_The_Fee

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Fee. 1532. Oil on panel. Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden.

cranach_Portrait_of_Charles_V

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Charles V. 1533. Oil on panel. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano-Castagnola, Switzerland

cranach_Portrait_of_Dr

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Dr. Johannes Cuspinian. 1502-1503. Oil on panel. Dr. Oskar Reinhart Collection, Winterthur, Switzerland

cranach_Self-Portrait

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Self-Portrait. c.1530. Oil on canvas. Castle Stolzenfels, Germany.

cranach_The_Holy_Family

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Holy Family. 1509-1510. Oil on wood.Gemaldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Kunste, Vienna, Austria.

cranach_St_Catherine_Altarpiece_(left_and_right_wings)

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. St Catherine Altarpiece (left and right wings). 1506. Oil on wood. Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany

cranach_The_Dessau_Altarpiece_of_the_Princes_(central_panel)

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Dessau Altarpiece of the Princes (central panel). c.1510. Oil on wood. Staatliche Galerie, Dessau, Germany.

cranach_The_Birth_of_Christ

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Birth of Christ. 1515-1520. Oil on wood. Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany.

cranach_Portrait_of_Martin_Luther_as_a_Monk

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Martin Luther as a Monk. 1520. Engraving. Angermuseum, Erfurt, Germany

cranach_Portrait_of_Martin_Luther_Wearing_the_Cap_of_Doctor_of_Theology

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Martin Luther Wearing the Cap of Doctor of Theology. 1521. Copper engraving. Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar, Weimar, Germany

cranach_Portrait_of_the_Saxon_Elector_John_the_Constant

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of the Saxon Elector John the Constant. 1526. Oil on canvas. Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany

cranach_Adam_and_Eve

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Adam and Eve. 1533. Oil on panel. Museum der bildenden Kunste, Leipzig, Germany

cranach_The_Silver_Age

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Silver Age. 1527. Oil on panel. Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar, Weimar, Germany

cranach_Samson_Vanquishing_the_Lion

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Samson Vanquishing the Lion. c.1520-1525. Oil on panel. Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar, Weimar, Germany

cranach_Portrait_of_Martin_Luther

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Martin Luther. 1526. Oil on panel. Warburg-Stiftung, Eisenach, Germany

cranach_Portrait_of_Katharina_von_Bora,_Wife_of_Martin_Luther

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Katharina von Bora, Wife of Martin Luther. 1526. Oil on panel. Warburg-Stiftung, Eisenach, Germany

cranach_The_Adoring_Husband

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Adoring Husband. 1530. Oil on panel. National Gallery, Prague, Czechia.

cranach_Portrait_of_A_Lord_of_Köckerits

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of A Lord of Köckerits. Oil on wood. Louvre, Paris, France.

cranach_Portrait_Supposed_to_Be_of_Magdalena_Luther

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait Supposed to Be of Magdalena Luther. Oil on wood. Louvre, Paris, France.

cranach_Lucretia

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Lucretia. 1533. Oil on wood. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

cranach_Venus_and_Cupid

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Venus and Cupid. c. 1530. Oil on wood. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

cranach_Portrait_of_Margarethe_von_Ponickau

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Margarethe von Ponickau. 1526. Oil on canvas. Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany.

cranach_David_and_Bathsheba

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. David and Bathsheba. 1526. Oil on wood. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

cranach_Portrait_of_Katharina_von_Bora,_Wife_of_Martin_Luther

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Katharina von Bora, Wife of Martin Luther. c.1525. Oil on wood. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

cranach_A_Lady_(The_Wife_of_Law_Professor_Johannes_Reuss)

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. A Lady (The Wife of Law Professor Johannes Reuss). 1503. Oil on wood. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

cranach_Portrait_of_Johannes_Carion

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Johannes Carion. c.1530. Oil on wood. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

cranach_Paradise

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Paradise. 1530. Oil on wood. Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany.

cranach_Portrait_of_Duchess_Katharine_of_Mecklenburg

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Duchess Katharine of Mecklenburg. 1514. Oil on wood. Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany

cranach_Portrait_of_Christiana_Eulenau

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Christiana Eulenau. 1534. Oil on wood. Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany.

cranach_Portrait_of_a_Prince_of_Saxony

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of a Prince of Saxony. c.1517. Oil on wood. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of a Princess of Saxony. c.1517. Oil on wood. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey. c.1531. Oil on canvas. Museo Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy

cranach_The_Crucifixion_with_the_Converted_Centurion

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Crucifixion with the Converted Centurion. 1536. Oil on wood. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

cranach_Portrait_of_a_Woman

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of a Woman. 1522. Oil on wood. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

cranach_Portrait_of_a_Man

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of a Man. 1522. Oil on wood. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

cranach_Madonna_and_Child

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Madonna and Child. c.1535. Oil on wood. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

cranach_The_Nymph_of_the_Spring

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Nymph of the Spring. After 1537. Oil on wood. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

cranach_Madonna_and_Child

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Madonna and Child. 1510-1514. Oil on wood. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano-Castagnola, Switzerland

cranach_Adam_and_Eve

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Adam and Eve. 1528. Oil on panel. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy

cranach_Judith_Victorious

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Judith Victorious. c.1530. Oil on wood. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

cranach_The_Melancholy

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Melancholy. 1553. Oil on wood. Le Musée d'Unterlinden de Colmar, Colmar, France.

cranach_St _Anne_with_the_Duchess_of_Saxony

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. St. Anne with the Duchess of Saxony. c. 1514. Oil on panel, right wing. 85 x 31 cm. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid, Spain

cranach_The_Silver_Age_(The_Effects_of_Jealousy)

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. The Silver Age (The Effects of Jealousy). 1530. Oil on wood. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia

cranach_St _Elizabeth_with_the_Patron,_Duke_of_Saxony

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. St. Elizabeth with the Patron, Duke of Saxony. c. 1514. Oil on panel, left wing, 85 x 31 cm. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid, Spain

cranach_St _George

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. St. George. Reverse Side of St. Anne Panel. c. 1514. Oil on panel, right wing, 85 x 31 cm. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid, Spain

cranach_St _Christopher

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. St. Christopher. Reverse Side of St. Elizabeth Panel. c. 1514. Oil on panel, left wing, 85 x 31 cm. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid, Spain

cranach_Virgin_and_Child_under_an_Apple_Tree

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Virgin and Child under an Apple Tree. c.1530. Oil on wood. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

cranach_Portrait_of_Cardinal_Albrecht_of_Brandenburg

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Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg. 1526. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia