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

Virgin and Child with Grapes

after 1537
Oil and tempera on wood, 77 x 57 cm
Private collection

From the large number of surviving variants it is clear that even as late as 1540 the Cranach workshop was producing devotional pictures of the Virgin, among them Virgins with Grapes, on a large scale. In many cases they were series products of only moderate quality, but this particular panel in private ownership stands out from these by virtue of its sensitive composition and the high standard of its execution. In contrast with the earlier variants, the Virgin and Child are placed against a neutral, almost black background and seen closer up, as a result of the picture's tight framing.