Venus in a Landscape by Lucas Cranach

Venus in a Landscape by Lucas Cranach
Venus in a Landscape by Lucas Cranach
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This work by the German painter Lucas Cranach “The Elder” in the year 1529 would belong to a series of paintings whose theme was the mythological goddess Venus and the female nude. Works that were abundantly produced by Cranach and his workshop, especially to satisfy the intellectual tastes of theGerman humanistsof the first decades of the16th century. These humanists, without a doubt, were the best clients the artist had. And the fact is that works based on stories from theAntiquityare quite common in his production, such as his work The Golden Age.

Venus in a Landscape by Lucas Cranach

Venus in a Landscape by Lucas Cranach

Therefore, it can be said that this theme was very much to the liking of the incipient Renaissance thought that was arriving in German lands. However, the appearance of this painting is closely related to the German Gothic tradition. She presents us with a woman with a youthful air, with very graceful forms, small breasts, narrow hips and a face with a convex forehead. A stereotype of beauty that has been repeated in women and representations of virgins in German painting since the 14th century.

Without a doubt, the appearance of the face and body of this Venus in a landscape by Cranach contrasts sharply with the painted Eve by Albert Dürer, a paintercontemporary and countryman, who had made a famous anatomical study on Adam and Eve in the year 1507.

In the case of the Venus of Cranach, the posture is also the result of the pictorial tradition of his country, because the cross-legged position was the most common. And it is that that undulating way of walking was considered to be a sign of elegance for women.

As a curiosity, it is seen that the woman wears only a transparent veil, which logically does not cover anything. In this case, it is known that this veil is the original that Cranach painted, since there are other works of his with a similar theme, which incorporated this type of veil later.

Observing the work, it can be seen that all the protagonism resides in the woman's body, since her ivory-white tone is greatly enhanced by the green background of the vegetation.

This painting owned by the Louvre Museum in Paris is an excellent example of the female type created by this artist. A beauty of strange and also refined sensuality, with an almost disturbing touch. And it is very curious that although ideologically he had the support of the humanist intellectuals of his time, his way of painting is typical of the late Medieval and very Gothic, although always treated in a very personal way.

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