Musée du Luxembourg, Paris
9 February – 23 May, 2011
19 Rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris
+33 1 42 34 25 95

Lucas Cranach (1472-1553) is one of the major figures in the German Renaissance, a prolific, versatile artist, active throughout the first half of the sixteenth century.

This exhibition emphasises the wealth and originality of Cranach’s career, marked by decisive encounters with important political and religious leaders in a society buffeted by the winds of the Protestant Reformation. In Wittenberg he met Martin Luther, who was under Frederick the Wise’s protection. He was a talented portraitist and has left likenesses of the key figures in this crucial time in the history of Christianity. Cranach also helped spread the new doctrine, putting his art at the service of visual propaganda which made extensive use of engravings. He thus contributed to a new Protestant iconography, but did not give up commissions from the Catholic Church for all that.

His reputation as a painter, his position among the powerful and his familiarity with the intellectual circles of his time made Lucas Cranach one of the most original and astonishing personalities in sixteenth-century Europe.