CRANACH, Lucas the Younger
(b. 1515, Wittenberg, d. 1586, Weimar)
Christ and the Adulteress1545-50
Oil on beech panel, 15 x 20 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The New Testament stories of Christ and the Adulteress and Christ Blessing the Children were frequently treated by the Cranach workshop. However, their pairing as pendants, as in the two small panels in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, was unprecedented.
The subject of Christ and the Adulteress appeared in the repertoire of the Cranach workshop around 1520. Lucas Cranach the Elder established a compositional standard - horizontal format, frieze-like arrangement of figures, and black background - that endured for decades in numerous examples.