The Lucas Cranach Digital Archive

Posted filed under Art History, Germany, Renaissance.


The Cranach Digital Archive (cda) is an interdisciplinary collaborative research resource, providing access to art historical, technical and conservation information on paintings by Lucas Cranach (c.1472 – 1553) and his workshop. The repository presently provides information on more than 400 paintings including c.5000 images and documents from 19 partner institutions.

Started in 2009 the project is in its second phase (2012 – 2014). In this period the cda aims to expand the existing network, to develop the shared infrastructure and to increase its content in order to build the foundations for an innovative, comprehensive and collaboratively produced repository of knowledge about Lucas Cranach and his workshop that will be significantly different from the traditional model of the single-author catalogue raisonné.

The Cranach Digital Archive is a joint initiative of the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf and Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences / Cologne University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with nine founding partner institutions and 17 associate partners and many project contributors. The project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Wikipedia: Lucas Cranach the Elder (Lucas Cranach der Ältere, 4 October 1472 – 16 October 1553), was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, and is known for his portraits, both of German princes and those of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, whose cause he embraced with enthusiasm, becoming a close friend of Martin Luther. He also painted religious subjects, first in the Catholic tradition, and later trying to find new ways of conveying Lutheran religious concerns in art. He continued throughout his career to paint nude subjects drawn from mythology and religion. He had a large workshop and many works exist in different versions; his son Lucas Cranach the Younger, and others, continued to create versions of his father’s works for decades after his death.