Portrait of Martin Luther, Lucas Cranach the Younger
Lucas Cranach the Younger
Portrait of Martin Luther
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Lucas Cranach the Younger

Portrait of Martin Luther, 1559

82.6 x 62 x 0.8 cm
Physical Description
Mixed technique on wood
Inventory Number
Acquired in 2010, Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
Not on display


About the Work

These companion portraits of the two Wittenberg reformators Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon were reunited in the Städel in 2010. The lively modelling of their faces exemplifies the superb painting skills of Lucas Cranach the Younger. The portraits not only needed to portray the sitters in a lifelike manner, however, but also to depict their accomplishments. For this the artist arrived at an original solution. Both reformers display their writings to the viewer – Luther’s in German and Melanchthon’s in Latin and Greek. The two figures were also characterized in different and interesting ways. While Luther appears to nearly burst the picture frame with the considerable bulk of his body, Melanchthon seems comparatively fragile and, moreover, entirely attuned to Luther’s dominating form.

Audio & Video

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  • Focus on religion
KunstIStück – Lucas Cranach d. J.: Martin Luther & Philipp Melanchton
Sammlungshighlights des Städel Museums in unterhaltsamen und informativen Filmen – das sind die Kunst|Stücke. Entdecken Sie spannende Details zu Kunstwerken aus ungewöhnlichen Blickwinkeln in unter zwei Minuten. Mehr zu den Werken von Lucas Cranach d. J. erfahren Sie hier: https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/bildnis-martin-luthers-1483-1546#yt https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/bildnis-philipp-melanchthons-14971560#yt

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