Lucas Cranach the Elder (c. 1472-1553), Portrait of Martin Luther, 1532
Cranach was a friend of the German priest Martin Luther, known as the father of the Reformation and the founder of Protestantism.
The Reformation was a revolt against the Catholic church and split the Christian church into Protestantism and Catholicism. Even though Cranach is now regarded as a Reformation artist, he also painted for Catholic clients.
The tone of the painting
When we look at the Dutch, Catholic artist Jan de Beer’s depiction of the crucifixion and Cranach the Elder’s paintings in this room, they share the same tone. The colours are bright, and the scenes are peopled by figures whose anatomy and proportions seem mannered.
Northern European Renaissance
The paintings in this room are examples of Northern European Renaissance art, and unlike Italian Renaissance art it is far removed from classical Antiquity, favouring mannered proportions and distinctive ideals of beauty instead.