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Lucas Cranach the Elder

Lucas Cranach, who called himself after his native town of Kronach, was one of the most important painters of German renaissance. He lived the greater part of his life in Wittenberg, city of Martin Luther, where he was mayor and where he kept an artistic workshop combined with a pharmacy and a wine-trade. From here Cranach contributed with numerous altars, portraits and bible illustrations to the distribution of the new reformation doctrine. He made several portraits of Luther, was his groomsman and his was the first publishing house to print Luther's translation of the New Testament. At the same time, Cranach was in the service of Prince Elector Frederick III, who presently ennobled him according him the coat of arms with the winged snake, which was to become Cranach's signature.

With its 58 paintings of Cranach the Elder, of his son and their workshop the picture gallery of Old Masters is the most substantial Cranach collection worldwide. Important Cranach paintings are also to be seen in the Bode Museum of the Picture Gallery on Museum Island and in its Cultural Forum.