The great German graphic artist and painter of the Renaissance Lucas Cranach the Elder born in Kronach. In his work, he was able to harmoniously synthesize the artistic principles of the Renaissance and Gothic traditions. Lucas Cranach the Elder is also considered one of the founders of the Danube school.
Cranach became famous for its very sophisticated style, in which the landscape and figures are very harmoniously combined. Cranach was the court painter of Frederick the Wise in Wittenberg - the Saxon Elector, he headed a large workshop, and also remained a friend of Luther and a supporter of the ideas of the Reformation.
The exact date of birth of Cranach the Elder has not been established. It is assumed that it is October 4th. The exact surname of his father is also unknown - in Kronach he worked as an artist. Cranach was born with the name Zünder from birth, and only later they began to call him Lucas. As a surname, he took the name of his native city, which is pronounced as Cranach.
Researchers suggest that the art of Cranach was originally taught by his father. From an early youth, the artist began to wander around Germany in search of his vocation. In 1493 he went to Palestine, in 1501 to Vienna, where he remained until 1504. His first famous paintings relate specifically to the Vienna period. It was then that he signed up to Lucas Cranach.
In 1508, Cranach became a nobleman. In the same year he came to the Netherlands. There he headed an art workshop, where there were about ten assistants. In addition, he combined painting classes and administrative work with the book trade. Gradually, he also became Wittenberg's most wealthy burgher, was elected several times and the mayor of the city.
As already mentioned, Cranach was a supporter of the Reformation. He was engaged in illustrating Protestant pamphlets, several times painted portraits of Luther, his friend, and also financed the publication of the Bible - Luther translated it into German.
The early work of Cranach reflects a clear innovation of ideas - with their help he expressed the contradictory nature of the era in which he lived. In the portrait genre, the artist achieved great skill just at the moment when he became a court painter. Many famous contemporaries are captured in his works. What is remarkable, he did not idealize his customers, although he always treated them with sympathy, but without too much admiration.