Portrait of Henry the Pious, Duke of Mecklenburg – Lucas Kranach the Elder, 1514

Portrait of Henry the Pious, Duke of Mecklenburg – Lucas Kranach the Elder, 1514
Portrait of Henry the Pious, Duke of Mecklenburg - Lucas Kranach the Elder, 1514 - 1

  • Posted by Lucas Kranach Sr
  • Museum: Dresden Gallery
  • Year: 1514

Overview of the painting :

Portrait of Henry the Pious, Duke of Mecklenburg – Lucas Kranach the Elder. 1514. Oil on canvas translated from wood. 184×82.5

   During his visit to the Netherlands in 1508, Kranakh (1472-1553) experimented with Italian-Dutch ideas of complex compositions and monumental nude figures (biblical and mythological characters). However, his true calling was in another – in a brilliant full-length ceremonial portrait. This proves the “Portrait of Henry the Pious, Duke of Mecklenburg.”.

   The painting is paired to the portrait of the Duchess of Catherine, the wife of Henry the Pious. Together they look very spectacular. A rare costume history book does not contain reproductions of these paintings. The decorative element in them prevails over psychological content. It seems that the models themselves are necessary for the artist only as a means of demonstrating extravagant outfits (especially the vestments of the duke). There is also no answer to the question of why the painter of the proportion of the human body is so broken: the duke’s head seems too small.