February 23, 2024 8:17 pm

THE FINEST PAINTING – Lucas Cranach the Elder, between Venus and Lutero

1POST.1LUCAS CRANACH THE ELDER 1/4 – He was a German Renaissance painter, and is known for his portraits. He also painted religious subjects, in the Catholic tradition and Lutheran concerns in art. His work at this time, lyrical and spirited with landscape setting, was influenced by that of Albrecht Dürer. He continued throughout his career to paint nude subjects drawn from mythology and religion.                 3POST.2LUCAS CRANACH THE ELDER 2/4 – He is known to have been in Coburg and Vienna (where he made an important contribution to the painting and illustrations of the Danube school), and in this period he painted some of his finest and most original works. In spring 1505 he arrived in Wittenberg, where he remained for 45 years. The Protestant Reformation had begun in 1517 in Wittenberg with Martin Luther, and he was on friendly terms with Luther. 11POST.3LUCAS CRANACH THE ELDER 3/4 – Cranach did not sign his works with his full name, and his signature consisted of an entwined “LC”. Around 1531, he painted a Venus draped in a trasparent veil gazing directly at the spectator, whose refined flowing lines are far-removed from the style of ancient statues, and he decided to accompany his nude figure with a little Cupid.He and his wife Barbara, had five children. Together with his sons Hans and Lucas, he ran a thriving workshop, that produced several thousand paintings, engravings and prints. The resurgence of Gothic linear rhythms is fundamental for its later work, in which the borderline between sacred and mundane art is blurred: a long series of paintings of Venus, Lucretia, the Graces, the judgment of Paris, and other subjects that serve as pretexts for the sensuous female nude.                                                                                                                   14POST.4LUCAS CRANACH THE ELDER 4/4 – He retired in 1552 to Weimar, leaving his sons, Hans and Lucas the Younger, to carry on his workshop. The death of his talented son Hans in Bologna in 1537 hit Cranach hard. Three years later his wife Barbara also died, and he died in Weimar in 1553, at the age of 81. You can see more on Meetingbenches, looking for: LUCAS CRANACH THE ELDER (1472/1553), GERMAN PAINTER – Portraits, religious and mythological subjects, painting the Protestant Reformation era

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