Although some Lutherans have forgotten this and others outside Lutheranism never knew it, it is untrue to say that Lutherans have been unfriendly to the arts. Lutherans are NOT iconoclasts and it is due to the minimalism of more recent times that most Lutherans in the pews have come to expect less rather than more.
The history of renaissance art, in particular Lutheran art born of the Reformation period, features lavish artworks with religious motifs. Among the Lutherans, Lucas Cranach the Elder and his son, Lucas Cranach the Younger, were two of the most prolific and successful artists of the time.
The 16th century court painters immortalized Martin Luther and the Reformation in their work and fostered the ideas and ideals of that Reformation in their paintings and altarpieces. In their workshop, they developed a rapid painting style and standardized procedures to produce portraits and religious images as if on an assembly line but these were in service to a movement and born of a commitment to the Gospel that refused to be stilled.
Here, in the video below, you can visit the places where this famous family of painters lived and worked, and discover the beauty of the Cranachs’ painting techniques.
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