Lucas Cranach the Younger followed in the footsteps of his father and carried the same name. He became a talented and successful painter, an enterprising pharmacist, a man of public office active in public affairs. He thus gained a high reputation, success and privileges in his lifetime. Posterity was appreciative of his memory and his work, but over time these became increasingly blurred with those of his father.
Now, on his 500th birthday, Lucas Cranach the Younger regains his own contour. Art historians and scientists have intensively concerned themselves with his life and work in recent years. As a result, the oeuvre of Lucas Cranach the Younger enlarged in retrospect. According to the latest research, some of his works had wrongly been attributed to his father and a number of other works were in fact co-productions.
The reasons for the misallocations were the almost industrial production of paintings in a non-individualised work style as well as the very similar logo used by both father and son.
The life of Lucas Cranach the Younger, his work and impact and the connections in the intellectual and political life of the time are subject of the theme year 2015, "Bild und Botschaft" (in English: "Image and message"), comprising of exhibitions, lectures, guided tours and publications.
It thus becomes possible to explore easily this remarkable Renaissance artist. Considered predominantly to have adhered to a mannerist style, he nevertheless reflected his age in a highly sopfiticated and subtle way.
Born in Wittenberg on the 4th October 1515, Lucas Cranach the Younger was taught by his father in the art of painting and worked in his father’s workshop with his older brother Hans. After the death of his brother in 1537, Lucas Cranach the Younger increasingly took charge of the business and workshop of his father.
In 1552 they moved to Weimar, where Lucas Cranach the Elder began work on an altar triptyque for the Weimar city church, the "Herderkirche". Cranach the Elder died the following year and the triptyque was conpleted in 1555 by his son.
Between 1549 and 1566 Lucas Cranach the Younger acted as mayor and city treasurer in the town of Wittenberg. He gave up the office ater his brother-in-law, who had been involved in the "Grumbach Handel" was quartered.
Until his death in 1586 Lucas Cranach the Younger created an large stock of significant and renowned religious paintings (eg for the altar in Schneeberg) and portraits of persons of his time.
The daughter of Lucas Cranach the Elder, Barbara Cranach, was married to the Saxon chancellor Christian Brück. From this line Goethe's mother descended. Thus Lucas Cranach the Elder is Goethe's great-grandfather in the 7th degree.
Current information on exhibitions and events about Cranach in and around Weimar are on display for you at the Hotel Fürstenhof am Bauhaus Weimar.
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