Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cranach, Lucus (1472-1553), a German painter, born at Kronach, in Franconia. Next to nothing is known of his birth and education, but he appears to have attracted attention before the end of the fifteenth century. In 1504 the Elector of Saxony gave him an appointment, and a picture of this date exists. For some years he practised many branches of his art, painting altar pieces, still life and game for house decoration, drawing on wood, engraving on copper plates, and designing dies for the mint. In 1500 he was appointed to make sketches of the Emperor Maximilian and the future Charles V. About this time the Duke gave him a printing monopoly, and also a monopoly of drugs in Wittenberg. Luther's Bibles were produced at his press. He was twice burgomaster of Wittenberg, but at a later period Wittenberg, with its prince and Cranach, fell upon evil times, the town being besieged and the prince captured, and Cranach accompanied him or joined him. He died at Weimar. His best painting is thought to be his Rest of the Virgin (1504), but his copperplates and woodcuts are his most representative productions. He painted many religious scenes and some mythological ones. But his chief work was portrait painting, and he painted most of the German reformers, notably Luther, and princes of the time. Portraits of Albert, Elector of Mainz, in the Berlin Museum, and of John, Elector of Saxony, in the Weimar Museum, are considered good specimens of his work.