The life of Lucas Cranach the Elder

In Lucas Cranach the Elder, born in 1472 in Kronach, Frederick the Wise appointed an artist as court painter in 1505 who, as a result of his painting workshop, which he skilfully managed, was able to transcend the boundaries of his actual task and became successfully active in many areas of Wittenberg business life (including the acquisition of a printing press in 1519, an apothecary's store in 1520, and the publisher's privilege in 1524).

After the fall of the last Wittenberg elector, Lucas Cranach the Elder left Wittenberg. He followed his last employer, who had fallen into imperial captivity, and later went with him to his new residence in Weimar. There he died, artistically active to the last, on October 16, 1553.

The Cranach Estate

From 1518, Cranach owned the building at Schlossstrasse 1, the most representative property in the city. This was where his residence, painting workshop, print shop and pharmacy were located. As a respected member of the Wittenberg city government, Cranach also served three terms as elected mayor. Since 1528, Cranach was the city's wealthiest citizen, second only to the electoral chancellor.

The Cranach House and its courtyards can still be visited today.