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I am still following the lead from the previous post to Pablo Picasso The Presence of the Past 1955 – 1963. The graphics concentrate mainly on his many variations of Édouard Manet’s Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe and Jacques-Louis David’s Intervention of the Sabine Women. The latter is writhing in terror much like Guernica, and I don’t like Luncheon in the Grass.

Portrait of a Woman, Lucas Cranach the Younger (1564)

I do like Bust of a Woman (after Lucas Cranach the Younger) but there is nothing written about it. He painted it several years before the previous two mentioned. There’s not much experimentation with color or object placement. Her shadow is moved to the left corner instead of  behind her on right, so the direction of light has changed. Her face looks like it could be facing either left or right, which may have something to do with the shadow.

There’s not much difference between Lucas Cranach the Younger and Lucas Cranach the Elder, whose style he emulated. He worked in the Elder’s workshop in Wittenburg, Germany. After he died, Lucas the Younger ran the workshop and remained one of the wealthiest men in the city.

Lucas Cranach the Elder (Lucas Cranach der Ältere, 4 October 1472 – 16 October 1553), was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, and is 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 create versions of his father’s works for decades after his death. –wiki

Bust of a Woman (after Lucas Cranach the Younger) Picasso 1958

Following the huge international success of Dürer’s prints, other German artists, much more than Italian ones, devoted their talents to woodcuts and engravings. This accounts for the comparative unproductiveness as painters of Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein the Younger, and also may explain why Cranach was not especially skilled at handling colour, light, and shade. Constant attention to contour and to black and white, as an engraver, seems to have affected his sight; and he often outlined shapes in black rather than employing modelling and chiaroscuro.

The above section of Cranach’s biography is pivotal because it ties in to a post I was thinking of doing on Albrecht Dürer. After that I may revisit Lucas Cranach the Elder because he’s also a central artist of the Northern Renaissance.

UPDATE:  Hans Holbein the Younger was not unproductive as a painter. Please see next post.

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