One of the most productive artists of the Renaissance |
An Artist in the Service of the Court and the Protestant Reformation |
Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472 – 1553) was a German painter, graphic artist, book printer, politician and enterpreneur. He learned the art of drawing from his father. In the year 1505 Cranach was appointed court painter to Friedrich III the Wise, Elector of Saxony and he occupied this position until his death. Cranach supported the Protestant Reformation through his art. He was a close friend of Martin Luther and his family. Cranach, his sons and employed artists produced in the flourishing workshop several thousand high quality paintings, engravings and prints. Often it was not clear exactly who created what. Cranach usually signed his works with a crowned serpent with bat wings and a ruby ring.