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

The Golden Age

c. 1530
Oil and tempera on wood, transferred to new panel, 74 x 106 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

This painting can be considered as an illustration to the Greek poet Hesiod's poem "Works and Days", commonly known as The Golden Age. In the time of the Golden Age people lived in eternal peace, having no troubles or cares and did not even need to cultivate the earth since Nature itself provided all the food they could want.

The figures in the painting correspond to Cranach's ideal nude figures, they are arranged across the panel in various animated and gesturing poses so that almost every bodily aspect is represented without any repetitions. Men and women are clearly differentiated by their flesh tones, the latter respectably pale as convention required.