The Serpent and the Lamb: Cranach, Luther, and the Making of the Reformation

The Serpent and the Lamb: Cranach, Luther, and the Making of the Reformation

by Steven Ozment


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The Serpent and the Lamb: Cranach, Luther, and the Making of the Reformation by Steven Ozment

This compelling book retells and revises the story of the German Renaissance and Reformation through the lives of two controversial men of the sixteenth century: the Saxon court painter Lucas Cranach (the Serpent) and the Wittenberg monk-turned-reformer Martin Luther (the Lamb). Contemporaries and friends (each was godfather to the other’s children), Cranach and Luther were very different Germans, yet their collaborative successes merged art and religion into a revolutionary force that became the Protestant Reformation. Steven Ozment, an internationally recognized historian of the Reformation era, reprises the lives and works of Cranach (1472–1553) and Luther (1483–1546) in this generously illustrated book. He contends that Cranach's new art and Luther's oratory released a barrage of criticism upon the Vatican, the force of which secured a new freedom of faith and pluralism of religion in the Western world. Between Luther's pulpit praise of the sex drive within the divine estate of marriage and Cranach's parade of strong, lithe women, a new romantic, familial consciousness was born. The "Cranach woman" and the "Lutheran household"—both products of the merged Renaissance and Reformation worlds—evoked  a new organization of society and foretold a new direction for Germany.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300192537
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 05/31/2013
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 1,303,524
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Steven Ozment is McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History, Harvard University. He is the author of ten books, including The Age of Reform, 1250–1550, which was a National Book Award finalist. He lives in Grantham, NH.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: What's in a Coat-Of-Arms? 1

The Serpent 1

The Lamb 3

1 Cranach in History, Art, and Religion 6

Taking the Measure of Cranach 6

Painter and Entrepreneur 8

"Most German of the Germans" 10

Art and History 14

Dismal Analysis 22

Cranach at the Gate: Breaking the Renaissance Mold 24

2 Chasing Dürer 29

From Kronach to Wittenberg 29

Friedländer's "Twenty-two": Were Cranach's First Works His Best? 33

The Difference Time Makes: Trekking to Schleissheim 36

Beautiful People: The Cuspinians and the Reusses 44

The Body Ascetic and Erotic 51

On the Sunny Side 54

3 The Compleat Court Painter 57

Wittenberg Calling 57

The New Job 62

Changing Styles: The St. Catherine Altar 66

Praising Cranach in Word and Deed 69

Self-Assertion 75

Anticipating Luther 79

4 Workshop Wittenberg: Cranach Domestic and Entrepreneurial 89

Old House, New House 89

Barbara Brengbier Cranach 93

Cranach as Taskmaster 101

Publisher 106

The Cranach Pharmacy 117

5 Marketing Luther 119

Allies 119

The Artist and the Theologians 123

Worms, Wartburg, and Wittenberg: Luther Under Cover 135

Cranach in Halle, 1521-23: Luther Betrayed? 141

6 Gospel Art 148

Circling Wagons 148

Disenchanted Art? 152

Art and Revolution 157

The Malady of Genius and the Remedy of Faith 160

Cranach's Melancholy 165

Humankind's Best Friends 171

7 Cranach's Women 173

The Moral-Domestic Front 173

Fascinating Women 183

History and Myth: The Magdeburg Venus 193

Were Cranach's Women Tramps? 198

Antiquing Sex: The Politics of Art and Nudity 210

8 Women on Top 213

Defenders of the Fatherland 213

The Biblical Stories 217

Homicides and Suicides 223

Testing Testosterone 235

The Judgment of Paris: Still Judging After All This Time 237

Venus Waning, Amor Rising: Cranach Steals the Scene 242

The World We Have Lost 245

9 Remembering Cranach and Luther 251

Cranach in Exile 251

Cranach Goes to the Mountain 258

The Money Trail to the Grave 261

Cranach and Luther upon the Altars 264

Notes 281

Index 315

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