Lucas Cranach the Elder, a youngster in Vienna
From 21 June to 16 October 2022, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna presents an exhibition dedicated to the artistic beginnings of Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553), one of the masters of the German Renaissance.
Source: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna · Image: Lucas Cranach the Elder, “Portrait of Anna Cuspinian” (1502) (detail). Oil on panel, 60.3 x 45.4 cm. Sammlung Oskar Reinhart
Considered -along with Dürer, Holbein, Altdorfer and Grünewald- as one of the great masters of Renaissance painting in Germany, Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553) was an enormously prolific painter, partly thanks to the collaboration of his workshop in Wittenberg, of which his son, Lucas Cranach the Younger, was a member. A friend of Luther, Cranach moved skilfully between religious painting, mythological compositions of an often erotic nature and portraiture, gaining a loyal clientele, but the defeat of the Protestants at the Battle of Mühlberg (1547) forced him into exile, dying a few years later.
“Cranach the Untamed. The Early Years in Vienna” focuses on the first phase of the artist’s career, resident in Vienna in the first decade of the 16th century, when he created a small group of paintings in a style quite different from that of his successful Wittenberg workshop. According to the museum, “Cranach, a native of Franconia, produced his earliest extant works in Vienna, presumably arriving in the city around 1500. These works are celebrated for their remarkable expressive power — radically different from the courtly-elegant manner he was to adopt soon afterwards when he became court painter to the Elector of Saxony. Unlike the countless panels produced in his large workshop at Wittenberg, only a handful of paintings have survived from his sojourn in Vienna. Key works from this period are now in Winterthur and in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna. Together with important loans from other collections, they form the core of the exhibition, offering a comprehensive survey of the early oeuvre of this outstanding artist.”
The exhibition comes to the Kunsthistorisches Museum following its run at Winterthur, where it was on show from 12 March to 12 June this year. #2022 #Renaissance #theartwolf