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VIENNA - This exhibition, conceived in collaboration with the Oskar Reinhart Collection “Am Römerholz” in Winterthur (Switzerland), is the first to explore the artistic beginnings of Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553). Cranach, a native of Franconia, produced his earliest extant works in Vienna, presumably arriving in the city around 1500. These works are celebrated for their remarkable expressive power – radically different from the courtly-elegant manner he was to adopt soon afterwards when he became court painter to the Elector of Saxony. Unlike the countless panels produced in his large workshop at Wittenberg, only a handful of paintings have survived from his sojourn in Vienna. Key works from this period are now in Winterthur and in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna. Together with important loans from other collections, they form the core of the exhibition, offering a comprehensive survey of the early oeuvre of this outstanding artist.

The exhibition will be on show in Winterthur from March 12 to June 12, 2022, where the focus will be on portraiture, before moving to Vienna. For the first time ever, the celebrated portraits of the humanist Johannes Cuspinian and his wife Anna will leave the collection in Winterthur to return to the place where they were painted.

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Lucas Cranach the Elder (Kronach 1472–1553 Weimar), Marriage-Diptych of Johannes Cuspinian and Anna Cuspinian-Putsch1502/03. Pine wood, each 60 × 45 cm © Sammlung Oskar Reinhart «Am Römerholz», Winterthur

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Lucas Cranach the Elder (Kronach 1472–1553 Weimar), The Penance of St Jerome, dated 1502 bottom centreLimewood, 56 × 41.4 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna © KHM-Museumsverband

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Lucas Cranach the Elder (Kronach 1472–1553 Weimar), The Crucifixion of Christ (“Schotten Crucifixion”), c. 1500. Limewood, 58.2 × 45.9 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna © KHM-Museumsverband

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Lucas Cranach the Elder (Kronach 1472–1553 Weimar), St Valentine with a Donor, c. 1502/03. Spruce wood, 91.5 × 49.5 cm © Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste, Wien

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Lucas Cranach the Elder (Kronach 1472–1553 Weimar), The Mount of Calvary, c. 1500. Woodcut, 399 × 285 mm © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstich-Kabinett

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Lucas Cranach the Elder (Kronach 1472–1553 Weimar), The Penitent Thief on the Cross, c. 1500. Charcoal, heightened with white, on red prepared paper, 226 × 121 mm © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstich-Kabinett

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Lucas Cranach the Elder (Kronach 1472–1553 Weimar), The Impenitent Thief on the Cross, c. 1500. Charcoal, heightened with white, on red prepared paper, 215 × 218 mm © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstich-Kabinett