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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » November 2, 2017
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The Fashion for Cranach
November 2, 2017   
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The National Museum in Wroclaw opens the exhibition called The Fashion for Cranach which presents the paintings of the Reformation period from Wroclaw and Silesia and commemorates the 500th anniversary of the publishing of the Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther in Wittenberg.
The art of Lucas Cranach, his circle and their influence in Silesia is the key to the presentation. Among several dozens of paintings on display, the exhibition includes iconic works by Lucas Cranach the Elder, such as Madonna under the fir tree, Salome, Adam and Eve or The ill-matched couple. The exhibition aims at showing the popularity of Cranach’s art in Silesian artistic environment of his time and later on. The curator of the exhibition is Marek Pierzchała.
A dozen of works by Cranach, being on loan at the exhibition from the National Museum in Warsaw and also from Budapest and Berlin, give an insight into the variety of biblical, mythological and secular topics undertaken by the Cranach company, however, they constitute only an attractive and necessary background. Around these works the proper story has been composed, in which the main characters are Silesian painters, authors of epitaphs and Cranach’s woodcuts and its alterations, as their closer or more distant inspiration.
The exhibition will feature a dozen of old prints (from the collection of the University of Wroclaw Library), richly illustrated with Cranach’s woodcuts. These will include such excellent and rare works as: Martin Luther’s translations of the Bible, with famous September Testamentum (1522) translated at record-breaking pace by the reformator at the Wartburg castle; illustrated postils – Luther’s sermons, constituting commentary to the Gospel. These prints formed the protestant iconography, becoming an accessible transmitter of new ideas. Among the Silesian paintings inspired by the art of the Cranachs, visitors will be able to see: put on public display for the first time the Virgin of the Apocalypse from the sacristy of Wroclaw cathedral. and two paintings dating back to the turn of Middle- Ages and modern times, with clear reference not only to the art of Cranach, but also to his great peer, Albrecht Dürer. An additional unmissable feature of the exhibition is the drawings from the 16th century, which have never been exposed before. They include designs of epitaph paintings and a few dozens of portraits of lpeople.
The exhibition will be open until 30th December, 2017.
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