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Portraits of Johann I and Frederick III the wise, Electors of Saxony, Oil On Panel by Lucas Cranach The Elder (1472-1553, Germany)

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Portraits of Johann I and Frederick III the wise, Electors of Saxony

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The figures occupy only the upper part of the two small portraits, the lower part being taken up by long inscriptions. The paintings portray the two Electors in solemn dress keeping with their status. In these two small works we see the German artist's marked predilection for an almost popular realism, which is achieved by means of a crisp, forceful outline and attention to detail. In Cranach the search for Italian Renaissance beauty is absent; the faces of the sovereigns, both in countenance and expression, are taken to the limit of caricature.
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Lucas Cranach The Elder

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