Lucas Cranach was one of the greatest European painters of the 16th century.
More popular and even more successful economically than his contemporary Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach has probably had the most enduring influence on Germany’s visual world.
As the leading member of a German family of artists, Lucas Cranach was a painter, printmaker and book illustrator with a distinctly individual manner and a highly successful business. He was one of the most versatile artists of the Renaissance, court artist to the Saxon electors, a staunch supporter of the Reformation, and a close friend of Martin Luther. During the course of his long career, Cranach created striking portraits and expressive devotional works, propaganda for the Protestant cause, as well as his own brand of erotic female nude and inventive treatments of biblical, mythological and classical subjects.
A court painter, he also rubbed shoulders with great figures such as Martin Luther, while liberating nudity and the power of women in a sensual, anti-academic style. Some 150 paintings, drawings, and rarely seen engravings show the authenticity and originality of his sophisticated artistry, his work in the studio, and his close bonds with his German, Italian, and Dutch contemporaries, including Dürer and Metsys.
Musée du Luxembourg Website