Portrait of Martin Luther and Philip Melanchton, Lucas Kranach Sr., 1543
- Posted by Lucas Kranach Sr
- Museum: Uffizi Gallery
- Year: 1543
Overview of the painting :
Portrait of Martin Luther and Philip Melanchton – Lucas Kranach the Elder. 1543. Wood, oil. 16×21
The German painter and the schedule of the Renaissance Kranakh (1472-1553) for many years, until the end of his life, worked at the court of Saxon Kurfürst Friedrich the Wise. In Wittenberg, a city that, thanks to the efforts of its ruler, became one of the centers of European humanism, the artist made friends with the founder of German Protestantism and major reformist Martin Luther and his associate theologian Philip Melanhton.
The master wrote both portraits of his friends in a single style: on a neutral background, he placed figures in dark robes and highlighted the faces of the portraised. Luther, focused and decisive, looks into the distance, Melanchton deep into himself. The artist also conveyed the physiognomical features of each: one is full-naked, with a soft apris of cheeks and neck and a stubborn chin, the second is thin, with sharp features of the face. Kranakh emphasizes in both, first of all, the human, individual principle, which was especially important for the masters of the Northern Age. Thanks to the artist’s commitment to realism, the viewer can clearly imagine what these people who made history were.