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

Reclining Nymph

Oil on panel, 75 x 120 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Translation of the inscription upper left: "I am the nymph of the sacred fountain. Do not interrupt my sleep as I am resting."

In addition to religious subjects and portraits, Cranach also painted mythological scenes which drew on the new Protestant thinking, resulting in some very unusual interpretations of classical mythology, as can be seen in the Reclining Nymph. Cranach has developed a canon of female beauty which is totally at odds with the classical ideal and is charged with a powerful eroticism.