The High Renaissance





Lucas Cranach the Elder


Lucas Cranach the Elder


(b Kronach, 1472; d Weimar, 16 Oct 1553). Painter, engraver and designer of woodcuts.

No works are known by Lucas Cranach the elder before his arrival in Vienna in 1501 or 1502, when he was already about 30 years old. His earliest surviving painting is presumably a small panel of the Crucifixion (before 1502; Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.) from the Schottenstift in Vienna. This picture reveals the expressive and vigorous handling of the brush that marks his painting technique during this intense two- or three-year period of activity. The rendering of the figures, especially the bloody, crucified bodies, and the composition with its rugged landscape are likewise calculated for an emotional impact. How the artist came by this manner of painting may in part be explained by the colouristically strong and brutal scenes of the Passion by Jan Polack, such as the Crucifixion (1492; Munich, Alte Pin.), which Cranach could have seen in the Franciscan church in Munich en route to Vienna. Otherwise his early stylistic sources are as hard to specify as those for the emerging DANUBE SCHOOL, of which Cranach was a principal founder.





Venus and Cupid

Oil on canvas transferred from wood, 213 x 102 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg



The Judgment of Paris

Limewood, 43 x 32,2 cm
Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne


Housealtar of Count William II of Hessen

c. 1508
Staatliche Museen, Kassel


Altarpiece of the Holy Family

Oil on panel, 120 x 99 cm (central panel), 120 x 43,5 cm (each wing)
Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt


Altarpiece of the Holy Family (The Holy Family)
Stadelaches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt



Kunsthalle, Bremen


The Trinity

Oil on wood
Museum der Bildenden Kunste, Leipzig


The Martyrdom of St. Barbara
oil on wood
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Portrat eines Burgermeisters von Weihenfels

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