Duke Henry the Pious: Lucas Cranach the Elder

Lucas Cranach the Elder: Duke Henry the Pious

Lucas Cranach the Elder paints in 1514 a portrait of Duke Henry the Pious IV, the Duke of Saxony (1473-1541) who adopted the Lutheran faith soon after Martin Luther published his 95 Theses in 1517.

The expression of gravity and sternness of Cranach’s Duke here, as well as the hand gripping the hilt of his sheathed sword, shows both the religious tension of the time and the Duke’s fearless faith in the new religion.

Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Duke Henry the Pious is in the Dresden Art Museum in Germany.

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