CRANACH, Lucas the Younger
(b. 1515, Wittenberg, d. 1586, Weimar)

Weimar Altarpiece

Stadtkirche Sankt Peter und Paul, Weimar

The Weimar Altarpiece, painted for John Frederick of Saxony, was completed in 1555 by Lucas Cranach the Younger after the death of his father. It still occupies its original location at the high altar of the City Church of Sts Peter and Paul in Weimar. This impressive triptych has been hailed as "the single most important visual monument of German Reformation." It conveys the close ties between Luther and his protectors, the dukes of Saxony, who are represented on its inner wings of the triptych which are painted in warm reds, yellows, and oranges. John Frederick the Magnanimous of Saxony and Sybille of Cleves on the left wing and their three sons on the right wing frame the Crucifixion in the central panel.

The outer sides of the wings, seen when the triptych is closed, depicts the Baptism of Christ and the Resurrection.