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

The Faun Family

Oil on panel, 44 x 34 cm
Private collection

The subject of the Faun Family relates to the romantic topos of the 'wild people who live in the forest', which can be found in the Metamorphoses by Ovid, and in De Rerum Natura by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius. Both texts were widely known during the Middle Ages, but they enjoyed increased popularity following their reintroduction during the Renaissance.

Cranach executed at least two other treatments of the subject in variants of similar overall mise-en-scene, but with differing arrangements and dispositions of the figures and landscape details.