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German History in Documents and Images
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Prince in Armor (c. 1514)
One of the most important artists of the German Renaissance, Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) was court artist to Saxon Elector Frederick “the Wise” (1463-1525) and his brother John (1468-1532) from 1505 onward. During his time at court, Cranach produced numerous woodcuts like the one shown here. Replicated and sold in the thousands, these woodcuts proved the ideal medium for spreading images of Saxon nobles that celebrated the glory and achievements of Electoral Saxony. This particular woodcut shows an unidentified Imperial prince in a fine plate-armor suit and a splendid feathered helmet. He holds a commander’s baton in his right hand as a sign of military leadership. Woodcut, Lucas Cranach the Elder, c. 1514.