Lucas Cranach the Elder
Born Lucas Müller, Lucas Cranach the Elder was born in Cranach (now Kronach), Germany in 1472. He was one of the most influential painters of German Renaissance art. His father Hans was a painter, and he worked with him from 1495-98. The earliest known works by Müller are dated to 1502, when he was living in Vienna. It was during his time in Vienna that he dropped his surname and begin going by the name of his hometown, Cranach. While in Vienna, he was appointed court painter to the elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony, and he moved to Wittenberg, where he would remain until 1550. Cranach was a friend of Martin Luther, and he painted many portraits and made many woodcuts of Luther and his followers as well as altarpieces and paintings for numerous churches. Both of Cranach’s sons were artists and members of his studio; his younger son, Lucas continued to work in the family style after his father’s death in 1553.
Lucas Cranach The Elder is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met