Born 1472 in Kronach, died 1553 in Germany. Lucas Cranach was a painter, engraver and woodcut artist. He was called Cranach after his native Kronach and was a pupil of his father. He worked mainly in Wittenberg, from 1504 as court painter to the Elector of Saxony. He kept a large painting workshop also for decoration work. The earliest known works date from the first years of the 16th century: the Crucifixion pictures in the Schottenstift in Vienna and the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, Rest on the Flight into Egypt (1504, Berlin), The Martyrdom of Saint Catherine (1514, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden).
As a close friend of Martin Luther, he executed several portraits of the reformer and his family as well as woodcuts for Luther's translation of the New Testament in 1522. He also executed allegorical-religious and moralizing images, as well as communion representations with the domestic reformers as models for the apostles.
Cranach continues German Late Gothic painting, but influenced by the Venetian Jacopo de Barbari and the Dutch Renaissance, he acquired a more classical style with smoother and rounder forms, such as The Naked Venus (Hermitage, St. Petersburg). His style is nevertheless linear, often with strongly contrasting color fields. Later pictures can be described as German Mannerism. He liked to sign with a dragon, and many of his pictures have been tried to be dated by the dragon's shape. From around 1530, the sons Hans and Lucas worked together with their father. Large workshop production has made it difficult to distinguish Cranach's own works.
In Larvik church hangs a picture depicting Jesus and the little children, a motif known in eight other variations, partly executed by his school. The National Gallery in Oslo owns two pictures from Cranach's workshop, of the Golden Age (Garden of Love) and a sleeping nymph.
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