CRANACH, Lucas the Elder
(b. 1472, Kronach, d. 1553, Weimar)
Housealtar of Count William II of Hessenc. 1508
Panel, 38 x 25 cm (central), 39 x 10 cm (each wing)
Staatliche Museen, Kassel
This altarpiece was produced for the Kassel court, but it cannot be said with certainty whether it was indeed commissioned by Landgrave Wilhelm II of Hesse, an ally of the Emperor Maximilian and for a time one of the most powerful princes of the Holy Roman Empire.
On the central panel we see the risen Christ, with the flag of victory on a glass staff in his left hand. His right hand is raised in a gesture of victory. On the side panels are two auxiliary saints, or Holy Helpers: St Barbara, patroness of the dying, and St Catherine, patroness of the sick.