This week, our section Masterpieces is devoted to another dynasty of artists. One of the leading German painters and printmakers of the early 16th century, Lucas Cranach the Elder is definitely one of the most renown artists of his time.
His name comes from Kronach, his native town; he was probably trained by his father, and became court painter of the Electors of Saxony at Wittenberg. Contemporary of Dürer, he is mainly known for his portraits of German princes and leaders of the Protestant Reformation, but he also painted many religious and mythology subjects, included his famous nudes.
He became a close friend of Martin Luther and in fact, he is remembered as the chief artist of the Reformation.
Cranach had a large workshop and many works exist in different versions – as for instance, The Ill Couple; his son Lucas Cranach the Younger, and others, continued to create versions of his works for decades after his death. We’ll explore his workshop work in the next chapter of Masterpieces.