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The Virgin Mary, with the Infant and Saint John the Baptist

Lucas Cranach the Elder1509 - 1512

Muzeul Național Brukenthal

Muzeul Național Brukenthal

The portrait of the Virgin Mary is considered to be one of Lucas Cranach’s most beautiful female representations, and it presents all the canonical features: white complexion, offset by rosy touches, blond tresses, harmonious facial features, long nose, thin, red lips. Her body is represented lacking almost any specific detail. A more anatomically detailed representation of the Virgin will appear at a later stage of development of European painting, with the fading of the devotional function of images, paralleled by an ever-keener interest in naturalism. However, we notice the Virgin’s uncovered and half-undone hair, the locks of a person’s hair being an important descriptive element in the epoch, almost all narratives overwhelmingly favouring fair hair. ©Dana Roxana Hrib, European Art Gallery Guidebook, Second edition, Sibiu 2011.

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  • Title: The Virgin Mary, with the Infant and Saint John the Baptist
  • Creator: Lucas Cranach the Elder
  • Date: 1509 - 1512
  • Physical Dimensions: w25.5 x h36.5 cm (Without frame)
  • Photo copyright: ©Christof Weber
  • Collecting: Brukenthal National Museum, vSibiu, Romania
  • Artist Biography: Lucas Müller was born in Kranach, Franconia, and he took the name of his birthplace, as an artist. In the year 1505, he was appointed court painter of Frederic the Wise, the Elector of Saxony (Luther’s protector), thereby also acquiring the position of unofficial painter of the Reformation.He painted portraits and religious paintings, mythological narratives and allegorical abstractions, adding to his list of subjects domains that he made his own, such as hunting scenes and the female nude. Active in full Renaissance, Lucas Cranach endeavoured to establish his own style, characterized by a decorative and calligraphic manner, enriched by a sophisticated sensuality and a spirit of fresh fantasy. ©Dana Roxana Hrib, European Art Gallery Guidebook, Second edition, Sibiu 2011.
  • Provenance: Brukenthal National Museum
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: oil on wood

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