Lukas Cranach the Elder

Born: 1472  - Death: 1553    Located in: Durer and German Painting

Cranach was a German painter and printmaker, born in Germany and having studied in Vienna. He was active in the town of Wittenberg where he spent most of his career as a court painter to the Saxon electors. His work includes many fine religious examples and several portraits of Martin Luther, although he also painted secular subjects. Besides being one of the greatest German painters of his time, Cranach was also widely known for his woodcuts, some of which illustrated the first German printing of the New Testament.

Cranach learned the art of drawing from his father and would pass this on to his own son, Lucas Cranach the Younger (1515 – 1586). Cranach the Elder’s chief occupation was that of portrait painting, where he preserved the features of all the German Reformers and their princely adherents. Of his numerous portraits of Martin Luther, is his works now in the Uffizi Gallery, Martin Luther and his Wife, and, Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon. His other portraits in the Uffizi include, Portrait of a Man, Portrait Lucas Cranach the Elder (Probably painter by his son Lucas Cranach the Younger), and Friedrich III the Wise and Johan I Elector of Saxony. He also painted a depiction of Adam and Eve, now also in the Uffizi.

(Some of this text is taken from the entry on Lukas Cranach the Elder, available under GNU Free Documentation license.)

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