Thursday, February 4, 2016

1500s Saxon Family Trees (The Spalatin Chronicle Family Trees) - Illuminated Manuscripts




















Frederick III, Elector of Saxony (1463–1525), Frederick the Wise, was the protector of Martin Luther, whom he offered asylum in his castle Wartburg.  Frederick III also asked his chief secretary George Burkhardt (known as George Spalatin), to compile a history of the German regions of Saxony & Thuringia.  Spalatin created a family history for the rulers of the various regions depicted as family tree miniatures decorated with family crests (The Spalatin Chronicle Family Trees), painted by the workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder (German artist, 1472–1553).  Cranach & his workshop also painted many full-sized portraits of Frederick the Wise in the years after his death.



Frederick III (1463–1525), the Wise, Elector of Saxony, attr to Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, 1472–1553) or to his workshop


The label of this painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art reads, "This panel and the portrait of John the Steadfast, the sitter's brother, are one of at least sixty pairs of portraits of his father and uncle ordered by John Frederick the Magnanimous from Cranach when he became Elector in 1532. All three rulers were Cranach's patrons at Wittenberg. So extensive a commission would undoubtedly have been executed mainly by workshop assistants." The portrait of Frederick's brother follows.




John I (1468–1532), the Steadfast, Elector of Saxony. Workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder (German artist, 1472–1553)



Another of the paintings of Frederick III (1463–1525), the Wise, Elector of Saxony, attr to Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, 1472–1553) or to his workshop


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