Man or Myth? Cranach Brings ‘Wild People’ to Life

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When Lucas Cranach the Elder painted The Faun Family in 1531, the German artist had reached the height of his career, by then a celebrated court painter for the Electors of Saxony. His wealthy clients commissioned popular mythological scenes, keen to marvel at the master’s virtuosity in bringing these legends to life. At the time, as reports of travellers encountering ancient tribes in the newly discovered Americas were beginning to circulate, scholars were also renewing their contemplation of the original state of mankind. Informed by these developments and a long fascination with the subject, Cranach created this luminescent oil on panel depicting a family of fauns in a woodland clearing, one of very few works by the artist to feature “primitive people.”

Old Masters Evening Sale
6 December | London

Man or Myth? Cranach Brings ‘Wild People’ to Life

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