Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) is the most influential painter of the German Reformation. In collaboration with Martin Luther (1483-1546), Cranach produced innovative paintings which made the complex ideas of Lutheran Christianity understandable to a wide range of viewers and inspired later generations of artists. Despite Cranach's crucial role as an interpreter of Lutheran ideas, his Reformation paintings remain unfamiliar to many American scholars. Lucas Cranach the Elder: Art and Devotion of the German Reformation presents Cranach's Reformation painting to a broader audience and explains the pictorial strategies Cranach devised to clarify and interpret Lutheran thought. For specialists in Reformation history, this study offers an interpretation of Cranach's art as an agent of religious change. For historians and students of Renaissance art, this study explores the defining work of a major sixteenth-century artist. The broad implications of the Reformation and Cranach's role in transforming religious art make this study suitable for readers with a general interest in history, religion, or art history.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 1. Law and Gospel and the Strategies of Pictorial Rhetoric Chapter 2 2. The Schneeberg Altarpiece and the Structure of Worship Chapter 3 3. The Wittenberg Altarpiece: Communal Devotion and Identity Chapter 4 4. Holy Visions and Pious Testimony: Weimar Altarpiece Chapter 5 5. Public Worship to Private Devotion: Cranach's Reformation Madonna Panels