Cranach the Younger – There’s so much you have to know

Can you honestly believe that it was 500 years ago that the German Renaissance artist, Lucas Cranach (the Younger) was born? By looking at two examples of his most prestigious output, it would appear that his works look ‘as fresh as a daisy’; as if they were painted just yesterday.

crancah the elder - cupid complaining to venusKnown for his woodcuts and paintings, on the left is: “Cupid Complaining to Venus.”  But what do we know about the artist Lucas Cranach the Younger?

He was born on 4th  October, 1515, the youngest son of Lucas Cranach the Elder and Barbara Brengebier. They lived in the city of Kronach, Franconia  (Germany).  Cranach the Younger began his career as an apprentice in his father’s workshop. He worked alongside his brother Hans and after his father’s death, he assumed control over the workshop (according to Wikipedia).

lucas cranach elder - apollo and diana (On right) Apollo and Diana.  On 20th February, 1541, Cranach married Barbara Brück.  As a family, they had four children; three sons, and a daughter. Barbara died on the 10th February, 1550. 

On May 24, 1551, Cranach remarried – to Magdalena Schurff.  Together, they had three daughters and two sons, including Augustin Cranach (who is known for portraits and simple versions of allegorical and mythical scenes). In all, over his lifetime, Cranach became father to nine children before his death on 25th January, 1586.

Artistically, his painting style was similar to that of his father and because of this;  there have been challenges to differentiate between “father & son’s work”. 

This reminds me of an all-time favorite song by Cat Stevens called “Father & Son” which may have been apt for the father and son spiritual and artistic partnership of “Cranach and Son” ... (my interpretation), but  let’s all sing-along  now.

Just relax, take it easy
You’re still young, that’s your fault
There’s so much you have to know.”

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