Skip to Main Content

Lucas Cranach the Elder

German, 1472–1553

554 followers
Follow

Lucas Cranach the Elder

German, 1472–1553

554
Followers
Biography

A prolific German Renaissance painter, and engraver, Lucas Cranach may have invented the full-length portrait. Cranach served as painter to the court of Frederick the Wise of Saxony in Wittenberg, where he specialized in portraits with bold compositions and strong colors. He was also responsible for decorative schemes around the court, as well as for tournaments and celebrations; the considerable demands of this work led him to open a workshop and to develop techniques and procedures of standardization that sped up the painting process. A close friend of Martin Luther, Cranach also supervised the printing of Luther’s pamphlets, painted altarpieces for Lutheran churches, and produced portraits of Protestant reformers and princes, as well as designing woodcuts for Luther’s translation of the New Testament.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
Hamburger Bahnhof
Institution
Collected by a major institution
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and 2 more
Biography

A prolific German Renaissance painter, and engraver, Lucas Cranach may have invented the full-length portrait. Cranach served as painter to the court of Frederick the Wise of Saxony in Wittenberg, where he specialized in portraits with bold compositions and strong colors. He was also responsible for decorative schemes around the court, as well as for tournaments and celebrations; the considerable demands of this work led him to open a workshop and to develop techniques and procedures of standardization that sped up the painting process. A close friend of Martin Luther, Cranach also supervised the printing of Luther’s pamphlets, painted altarpieces for Lutheran churches, and produced portraits of Protestant reformers and princes, as well as designing woodcuts for Luther’s translation of the New Testament.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
Hamburger Bahnhof
Institution
Collected by a major institution
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and 2 more
Articles Featuring Lucas Cranach the Elder
The Three Graces Have Inspired Centuries of Artists, from Botticelli to Picasso
Apr 25th, 2019
The Three Graces Have Inspired Centuries of Artists, from Botticelli to Picasso
The Secret Language of Jewelry in Women’s Portraits
Feb 26th, 2019
The Secret Language of Jewelry in Women’s Portraits
The Bible Stories Essential to Understanding Art History
Dec 18th, 2018
The Bible Stories Essential to Understanding Art History
Decoding Animals in Art History, From Immortal Peacocks to Lusty Rabbits
Jun 1st, 2017
Decoding Animals in Art History, From Immortal Peacocks to Lusty Rabbits
Navigate right