Lukas Cranach the Younger 500

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Portrait-medallion of M. Luther by L. Cranach d.J. on title page of P. Melanchthon’s biography of Luther (F*.12.44(F))

500 years ago, on October 4, 1515, the Renaissance artist Lukas Cranach the Younger was born. To mark this anniversary a number of major exhibitions are being put on in Germany. The main exhibition is being held in Wittenberg, the town associated with Luther and the Reformation and where Luther famously nailed his 95 theses to the church door. Wittenberg was also the location of Cranach’s workshop which he took over from his father, Lukas Cranach the Elder. Both father and son were closely linked with the Reformation as they created portraits of the main protagonists of the Reformation and painted altar pieces with images that served the cause of the Reformation.

The exhibition in Wittenberg is unique as it is the first one to be solely devoted to the work of Lukas Cranach the Younger. Until now scholars have considered his work mainly in the context of the work of his father. The exhibition and related publications aim to consider Cranach the Younger as an artist in his own right. The exhibition has been designated as “State Exhibition Saxony-Anhalt”, thus giving it further significance.

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