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Portraits of Henry the Pious, Duke of Saxony, Oil by Lucas Cranach The Elder (1472-1553, Germany)

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Portraits of Henry the Pious, Duke of Saxony

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The canvas with the double portrait of the couple was divided into two parts and transferred to wood. Following his visit to the Netherlands in 1508, Cranach experimented with Italo-Netherlandish ideas of spatial construction and with monumental nudes, but his true talent lay elsewhere, as is shown by the splendid full-length portraits of Duke Henry the Pious and Duchess Katharina von Mecklenburg, which mark the establishment of his official portrait style. Here, space and volume are annihilated; magnificent clothes, set off by a featureless backdrop, are topped by faces reduced to their essential, typical features. The Saxon pricess wears a colourful attire and head-dress characteristic for German noble women in the beginning of the 16th century.
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Lucas Cranach The Elder

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