CRANACH, Lucas the Elder
(b. 1472, Kronach, d. 1553, Weimar)

The Holy Kinship with a Self-Portrait

Tempera on wood, 89 x 71 cm
Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna

Cranach repeatedly incorporated the portraits of his patrons into his altarpieces. He ascribed them roles in the pictorial narrative. In the Holy Kinship Cranach was both the painter and the donor. He painted and donated this small altarpiece to commemorate his marriage. The subject of the painting is St Anne and her family, Cranach has portrayed himself as Alpheus on the left next to Anne. In front of Cranach is his wife's wet nurse as Mary Cleophas.

The painting is signed with a winged snake.