Lucas Cranach The Elder Biography | Oil Paintings

1472 Kronach, GER – 10-16-1553 Weimar, GER

Back to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Cranach The Elder, Lucas

Born in Kronach in Germany, where he derived his Surname, Lucas Cranach the Elder learned draftsmanship from his father. In 1505, after beginning his career in the Danube School, Lucas was invited to Wittenberg by the Prince Elector of Saxony, Frederick the Wise. In fact, he continued working for the Saxony court until he died almost 50 years later, which made him one of the most long-lived and active artists of the German Renaissance.

His style evolved from the legendary expressionism of his early production to the intellectual, decorative, and almost abstract graphic quality of his later works. He produced everything from altarpieces, etched copper, produced woodcuts and engraved the coinage and medals for the Saxon mint, in addition to painting classical nudes, portraits, allegories, hunting scenes, and Lutheran propaganda. Being one of the first artists to convert to the Reformation, Lucas Cranach the Elder went to great lengths to circulate his portraits of Martin Luther, his wife Catherine von Bora, and Melanchthon.

In 1509 he visited the Netherlands and painted the portrait of Emperor Maximilian and his son, the future Charles V. Although he produced many religious paintings, it should be noted that he sided with the reformers and painted the earliest authentic likeness of Martin Luther, while also executing numerous paintings of an allegorical or mythological character.

Judith With The Head Of Holofernes, this unforgettable figure is a masterly example of Cranach's exceptional skill in the rendering of texture and the sumptuous treatment of the color red. The magnificently elegant Judith can be considered a German response to early Italian Mannerism.

The first thirty years of the sixteenth century were one of the most brilliant and exciting periods in the history of German art. This was the brief but splendid period of the Northern Renaissance. Then the onset of the Reformation, (that began in earnest with Martin Luther's “95 Theses” in 1517) soon came crashing down onto this situation in ferment. Luther was subsequently excommunicated in 1520 by Pope Leo X. Luther repudiated all devotional images, which brought an end to religious painting and hence a drastic stagnation in German art.

Nevertheless, it is as a painter of very lifelike portraits that he is chiefly remembered, especially as a chronicler in oils of the leading personalities of the German Reformation. He had three sons who all became painters including Lucas Cranach the Younger.

The Lutheran Church remembers Lucas Cranach the Elder as a great Christian on April 6, the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church in the USA honors him on August 5.

Art Movement History: Northern Renaissance.
Artists Influencing Lucas Cranach
: Albrecht Durer.
Painters Lucas Cranach Influenced
: Lucas Cranach the Younger.
He Traveled To Austria, Netherlands.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.

Lucas Cranach The Elder Hand-Painted Oil Painting Reproductions.

Lucas Cranach The Elder Museum Art Replicas on Canvas.

Additional Popular Products and Services from The Worlds Artist.

You can do a deep search for an oil painting by a specific artists, colors or subject matter. You are also able to check in our art movements and find the painter linked to a particular movement. If you don't find your favorite artist or painting, you can request it in our made to order oil paintings section, or simply contact us. Once you chose a oil painting reproduction, to see it in your home of office surroundings, see how to do it in our wall art mock-up photo. Additional helpful links are provided in the art canvas sizes, and oil painting care. In our studio and our artists pages you will see how we paint the oil painting reproductions and the painting process. The same procedures are used for painting pet portraits, portrait oil painting from your photographs and oil painting of your home. Some of the oil paintings from the famous painters have been have been made into tilt-shift photos, and we have located the sites where they did their famous paintings, you can compare side by side the location and the painting in Then and Now, plus Tilt-Shift painting photos.