CRANACH, Lucas the Elder
(b. 1472, Kronach, d. 1553, Weimar)
Reclining River Nymph at the Fountain1518
Oil on wood, 59 x 92 cm
Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig
The resurgence of Gothic linear rhythms is fundamental for the whole of Cranach's later work, in which the borderline between sacred and mundane art is blurred. He represented female saints as beautiful and elegant ladies in fashionable dress and covered with jewelry. His Reclining River Nymph at the Fountain (1518 Leipzig) shows with what assurance he translated a Renaissance model - Giorgione's Venus - into his personal language of linear arabesque. This work inaugurated a long series of paintings of Venus, Lucretia, the Graces, the Judgment of Paris, and other subjects that serve as pretexts for the sensuous female nude, in which Cranach appears as a kind of 16th-century François Boucher.
There exists several copy of this painting made by the workshop of Cranach. The original painting is in Leipzig.