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

Young Mother with Child

Oil and tempera on red beechwood, 60 x 37 cm
Wartburg-Stiftung, Eisenach

Based on a barely visible detail in the background it is assumed that this painting is related to the legend concerning St John Chrysostom (c. 350-407), one of the four Church Fathers of the Eastern Church. Cranach depicts in the background a curious legendary scene. John was supposed to have had a child by a certain princess. In punishment he was forced to walk about on all fours like an animal. This scene was also engraved by Dürer.