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The Passional was Lucas Cranach the Elder’s first illustrated publication. Pictorial models of the Passion of Christ as positive examples are juxtaposed with the transgressions of the pope’s church and used to defame the Roman Catholic Church. Whereas Christ drives the money changers from the temple, the pope himself becomes the Antichrist: he uses the church and the sale of indulgences as a source for his wealth.

Details

  • Title: Passional of Christ
  • Creator: Lucas Cranach the Elder
  • Date Created: 1521
  • Physical Dimensions: 19.5 × 15 cm
  • Technique and Material: Book Woodcut
  • Provenance: Old inventory
  • Museum: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
  • Inv.-No.: 87
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-018511
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/kupferstichkabinett/home.html
  • Copyright: Photo © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett/ Jörg P. Anders; Text © Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach, A Cooperation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen München, Catalogue of the Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nov 20, 2016 – March 26, 2017, Munich: Prestel, 2016; cat. no. 38 / Michael Roth
  • Catalogue: https://prestelpublishing.randomhouse.de/book/Renaissance-and-Reformation/Stephanie-Buck/Prestel-com/e504919.rhd
  • Artist Dates: 1472 Kronach–1553 Weimar
  • Artist Biography: Cranach, whose name derived from his birthplace, Kronach, was presumably trained by his father. Around 1502 Cranach was staying in Vienna, where he produced his first documented works. In 1504 Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony called him to his court in Wittenberg, where Cranach would head a very large, extremely productive workshop. The Cranach factory was active in prints as well as paintings. His many portraits of Martin Luther—the Cranach and Luther families were close friends—and his altarpieces with decidedly Reformist programs made Cranach and his memorable style the epitome of Protestant visual culture. Nevertheless, Cranach was also active for Luther’s adversaries, such as Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg.

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