Lucas Cranach the Younger

Lucas Cranach the Younger was born in Wittenberg on 4 October 1515 as the youngest son of Lucas Cranach the Elder and his wife Barbara. Together with his brother Hans (*about 1512; † 9 October 1537) he learned the art of painting from his father and worked in his father's workshop.

In 1537 his brother Hans died on a study trip to Italy. Lucas Cranach the Younger increasingly took over the business activities in the workshop. In 1549 he was a member of the acting town council of Wittenberg for the first time, and in the 1565/1566 term of office he was - like his father before him - mayor of the town.

Lucas Cranach the Elder had been granted a coat of arms by the Elector in 1508. It showed a snake with bat wings, wearing a crown on its head and a golden ring set with a ruby in its mouth. In the mid-1530s, the coat of arms changed to show a bird's wing. From then on, Lucas Cranach the Younger also used this coat of arms.


Lucas Cranach the Younger was born in Wittenberg as the son of Lucas Cranach the Elder.

1527 / 1529

Start of apprenticeship in his father's workshop.


Mentioned as a member of the Cranach workshop during the gilding work on Torgau Castle.


Johannes (Hans) Cranach (born 1512/13), the eldest son of Lucas Cranach the Elder, dies on a trip to Italy. Lucas Cranach the Younger then took on more and more responsibility in his father's workshop.


On February 19, Cranach the Younger married Barbara Brück (1518-1550), the daughter of Gregor Brück, chancellor of Electoral Saxony. The marriage produced four children.


The life-size "Portrait of Martin Luther" (Staatliches Museum Schwerin) is created, which becomes the model for a series of portraits of the Reformers.

Around 1547

Creation of the "Reformation Altar" (with L. Cranach the Elder) in the City Church of St. Mary, Wittenberg

1549 - 1568

Councillor in Wittenberg


Took over the farm and workshop at Schlossstraße 1 from his father. Cranach the Elder leaves Wittenberg.


Second marriage to Magdalena Schurff (1531-1606), a niece of Melanchthon. Five children are born of this marriage. Augustin Cranach (d. 1595), born in 1554, also becomes a painter (apprenticeship around 1571/72 with the Saxon painter Heinrich Goeding) and maintains a workshop in Wittenberg.
The panels "The Sleeping Hercules" and "The Awakened Hercules Drives Out the Pygmies" for Dresden Castle are created.

1552 - 1555

At the request of Duke Albrecht of Prussia, Heinrich Königswieser is taken into the workshop and trained. Königswieser becomes court painter to Duke Albrecht in 1559.

1552 / 1553

Cranach the Younger flees from the plague with his family and the boy painters and goes to Weimar, the new residence of Duke Johann Friedrich of Saxony.


"Epitaph Altar for Johann Friedrich of Saxony" (City Church of St. Peter and Paul, Weimar)


"Epitaph for Johannes Bugenhagen - The Baptism of Christ" (City Church of St. Mary, Wittenberg).

Around 1560 / 1563

Journey to the Netherlands.

1560 - 62 and 1572 / 73

Extensive building work by Cranach in Wittenberg.


Painting of the coat of arms and the sundial on the tower of the Wittenberg town church.

Around 1565

Erhard Gaulrap is trained in the Cranach workshop at the request of Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg.

1565 - 1568

Cranach the Younger is mayor of Wittenberg


Confirmation of the privilege of the perpetual wine tavern inherited from his father by Elector August of Saxony.
"Epitaph for Paul Eber - The Lord's Vineyard" (St. Mary's Town Church, Wittenberg). Numerous epitaphs are produced in the Cranach workshop during these years.

Around 1571 - 1573

A series of portraits of the Saxon dukes and electors is created for Augustusburg.

1571 - 1581

Zacharias Wehme is trained as an apprentice in the Cranach workshop at the request of the Elector August of Saxony.


Cranach the Younger is one of the six richest citizens of Wittenberg. His landed property is estimated at 3,200 gulden.


On 25 January Cranach the Younger dies in Wittenberg. He is buried in the Wittenberg town church of St. Mary.


The Elector of Saxony purchases numerous prints and paintings by various artists from the estate of Cranach the Younger for the Dresden Kunstkammer.

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