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Lucas Cranach - German Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Lucas Cranach (1472 - 1553)

Lucas Cranach was born in Kronach, Germany, where his father trained him in draughtsmanship. He was appointed court painter in Wittenberg in 1504 by the Elector of Saxony and afterwards designed altarpieces, created woodcuts, and engraved coins. He also painted portraits of Netherlands royalty, Emperor Maximilian and son Charles V in 1509. Cranach was an advocate of the Reformation, painting a portrait of its forerunner, Martin Luther. Cranach was one of the most famous German artists of its time. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, and is best known for his portraits, both of German princes and those of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, whose cause he embraced with enthusiasm, becoming a close friend of Martin Luther. He also painted religious subjects, first in the Catholic tradition, and later trying to find new ways of conveying Lutheran religious concerns in art. He continued throughout his career to paint nude subjects drawn from mythology and religion. He had a large workshop and many works exist in different versions; his son Lucas Cranach the Younger, and others, continued to produce versions of his father's works for decades after his death.

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