Station: [20] The Workshop II

Paintings from the Cranach workshop were much sought after, and were copied even in the 16th century. The painting on the right shows "Christ and the Adulteress". It was exported to Canada in the 1920s by a Swiss family, who believed it to be an original. The family’s heir offered the painting to the Cranach Foundation. Unfortunately, an analysis revealed that it was an old copy, painted between 1640 and 1740. The picture was subsequently donated to the Foundation.

The portrait of Cranach the Elder is another example. The original was by Lucas Cranach the Younger and hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. 

He painted this portrait of his father in 1550, before Cranach senior left Wittenberg for Augsburg, to serve as court painter to Elector Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous. The elector had been imprisoned by Charles the Fifth because in 1546 and ’47, he’d led the Protestant Schmalkaldic League in battle against the emperor. After the Reformation, the emperor wanted to enforce a return to religious unity within the empire. 

Lucas Cranach the Elder spent the rest of his life working as Johann Friedrich’s court painter, first in Augsburg, and then, after the elector was pardoned, in Weimar. Cranach died there in 1553.

Another painting shows the "Rest on the Flight into Egypt" from 1504. This is a copy by the artist Hildegard Klinkert, who lived in Berlin in the 20th century. The original is on show at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin. It is an early work, signed and dated by Cranach.


All depictions: © Dagmar Trüpschuch und Cranach Stiftung