Happy belated Cranach day!

I can’t believe I missed blogging about this yesterday, April 6 being the Commemoration of Lucas Cranach and Albrecht Dürer: Christian Artists | CyberBrethren-A Lutheran Blog.

Go to that link to celebrate by looking at some of their paintings and what they mean.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • helen

    Thank you for the link to the pictures!
    Issues, Etc. discussed this “on the day.”

  • helen

    Thank you for the link to the pictures!
    Issues, Etc. discussed this “on the day.”

  • Joanne

    These Renaissance princes who were Luther’s patrons, protectors, and the God-fathers of the Reformation, were very sophisticated consumers of the fine and decorative arts. The Electoral palace in Wittenberg is a small shell of its former self, but the Electors’ primary palace of Hartenfels at Torgau is today being minutely restored. The Ernestines had Cranach (his studio) paint almost every square inch of interior space. A most exquisite jewel of renaissance art at Hartenfels is the round pulpit in the new chapel built for Luther to preach in. The chapel is often identified as the first purpose-built protestant worship space. Sadly, the pulpit is all the art that remains from the day Luther was there in 1546 to dedicate the Schlosskapelle. Cranach and the Wittenberg city sculptor had worked for months to fill the space with art. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Lutheran taste abhorred a blank wall or an uncluttered space in a church. One can almost hear the 18th and 19th century sophists saying, “can we get some of the clutter out of here and let in some more light?” as they went about pulling down those huge altars and ornate epitaphs. But, truthfully, wars and especially Napoleon were the worst offenders against art in German churches. Sigh.
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Walther_(1526%E2%80%931586)
    This is a link to a family of Lutheran sculptors from Luther’s day on. You can follow a link to the altar at Schandau. I believe this altar is probably very similar (though much reduced from it’s original wholeness) to the altar that the Wittenberg sculptor fashioned for Hartenfels at Torgau.
    And, don’t miss the Nosseni altar at Loschwitz. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Maria_Nosseni
    Giovanni Maria Nosseni was Italian Swiss and seems to have worked most of his life for the Lutheran Saxon Elector and Duke creating exquisite works of religious art. I don’t know if Nosseni was a Lutheran, but he died in Dresden at the age of 76.
    Lutherans have hundreds of artists to remember and commemorate.

  • Joanne

    These Renaissance princes who were Luther’s patrons, protectors, and the God-fathers of the Reformation, were very sophisticated consumers of the fine and decorative arts. The Electoral palace in Wittenberg is a small shell of its former self, but the Electors’ primary palace of Hartenfels at Torgau is today being minutely restored. The Ernestines had Cranach (his studio) paint almost every square inch of interior space. A most exquisite jewel of renaissance art at Hartenfels is the round pulpit in the new chapel built for Luther to preach in. The chapel is often identified as the first purpose-built protestant worship space. Sadly, the pulpit is all the art that remains from the day Luther was there in 1546 to dedicate the Schlosskapelle. Cranach and the Wittenberg city sculptor had worked for months to fill the space with art. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Lutheran taste abhorred a blank wall or an uncluttered space in a church. One can almost hear the 18th and 19th century sophists saying, “can we get some of the clutter out of here and let in some more light?” as they went about pulling down those huge altars and ornate epitaphs. But, truthfully, wars and especially Napoleon were the worst offenders against art in German churches. Sigh.
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Walther_(1526%E2%80%931586)
    This is a link to a family of Lutheran sculptors from Luther’s day on. You can follow a link to the altar at Schandau. I believe this altar is probably very similar (though much reduced from it’s original wholeness) to the altar that the Wittenberg sculptor fashioned for Hartenfels at Torgau.
    And, don’t miss the Nosseni altar at Loschwitz. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Maria_Nosseni
    Giovanni Maria Nosseni was Italian Swiss and seems to have worked most of his life for the Lutheran Saxon Elector and Duke creating exquisite works of religious art. I don’t know if Nosseni was a Lutheran, but he died in Dresden at the age of 76.
    Lutherans have hundreds of artists to remember and commemorate.

  • Joanne

    When Nosseni died in 1616, this epitaph was put up in his memory in the Sophienkirche in Dresden. It also remembers his 3 German wives.
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nosseni-Epitaph

  • Joanne

    When Nosseni died in 1616, this epitaph was put up in his memory in the Sophienkirche in Dresden. It also remembers his 3 German wives.
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nosseni-Epitaph

  • Joanne

    http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Datei:SchwerinAltarMuseum.JPG&filetimestamp=20100630231146
    Here is a link to another Renaissance altar in a Lutheran Duke’s castle chapel made only 16 years after the one at Hartenfels. That Duke in Mecklenburg was consciously following the examples set by Hartenfels’ chapel, so perhaps this altar is even more likely a resembler to the long-gone original altar at Hartenfels. This altar is in poor condition and is missing parts. When a working piece of art falls out of style, all sorts of mischief can happen to it.
    PS We have another Lutheran artist to remember for this work, don’t we?

  • Joanne

    http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Datei:SchwerinAltarMuseum.JPG&filetimestamp=20100630231146
    Here is a link to another Renaissance altar in a Lutheran Duke’s castle chapel made only 16 years after the one at Hartenfels. That Duke in Mecklenburg was consciously following the examples set by Hartenfels’ chapel, so perhaps this altar is even more likely a resembler to the long-gone original altar at Hartenfels. This altar is in poor condition and is missing parts. When a working piece of art falls out of style, all sorts of mischief can happen to it.
    PS We have another Lutheran artist to remember for this work, don’t we?

  • Joanne

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/24824943
    Link to an excellent image of the Hans Walther, II, renaissance altar of 1579 that was originally created for the Kreuzkirche in Dresden (now in Schandau). This is the altar that Heinrich Schultz saw everyday when he went to work as the chief music composer at the Kreuzkirche with the Kreuzchor for almost all of the 17th century. Again, this altar though restored, is missing parts and not in original condition. Note the non-Lutheran numbering of the 2 tables of the Law. Colored glass images were where the law tables are now when the altar was at the Annenkirche during the 18th century and a pulpit was cut right through the middle of it all to make a Kanzelaltar. Like so much Lutheran art, we have here a rescue victim.

  • Joanne

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/24824943
    Link to an excellent image of the Hans Walther, II, renaissance altar of 1579 that was originally created for the Kreuzkirche in Dresden (now in Schandau). This is the altar that Heinrich Schultz saw everyday when he went to work as the chief music composer at the Kreuzkirche with the Kreuzchor for almost all of the 17th century. Again, this altar though restored, is missing parts and not in original condition. Note the non-Lutheran numbering of the 2 tables of the Law. Colored glass images were where the law tables are now when the altar was at the Annenkirche during the 18th century and a pulpit was cut right through the middle of it all to make a Kanzelaltar. Like so much Lutheran art, we have here a rescue victim.

  • Joanne

    Eile mich, Gott, zu eretten!
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Sch%C3%BCtz
    I meant of course Heinrich Schütz, and not Heinrich Schultz, the overwight guard’s brother from Staglag 17.
    I’m a great fan, of both.
    The text of Eile mich: http://www.sfbach.org/text-eile-mich-gott-zu-erretten-swv-282 Schutz wrote a beautiful duet to this for two boys.
    The piece performed as it might have been in the Kreuzkirche, by two of the Kreuzchorknaben, in the 17th century, before the Walther altar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrnTuqQZ7Dc
    Just make the connections and these people, places, and things come alive.

    Are we remembering Lutheran artists now?

  • Joanne

    Eile mich, Gott, zu eretten!
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Sch%C3%BCtz
    I meant of course Heinrich Schütz, and not Heinrich Schultz, the overwight guard’s brother from Staglag 17.
    I’m a great fan, of both.
    The text of Eile mich: http://www.sfbach.org/text-eile-mich-gott-zu-erretten-swv-282 Schutz wrote a beautiful duet to this for two boys.
    The piece performed as it might have been in the Kreuzkirche, by two of the Kreuzchorknaben, in the 17th century, before the Walther altar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrnTuqQZ7Dc
    Just make the connections and these people, places, and things come alive.

    Are we remembering Lutheran artists now?

  • Joanne

    I’m so glad I have this all to myself, especially since I seem to be in a cascade of errors. That lovely Schutz duet I pointed you to above was actually a solo wasn’t it. And, you were just too kind to mention it. How Lutheran of you, and for that I’ve found the duet I did have half in mind, Schutz’s O bone jesu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Le3_5z7EJc
    It took me some time because I could only find little catholic boys singing it. When I buy recorded Lutheran church music, I insist that it be performed by Lutherans in a Lutheran church. How’s that for persnikety? And, if it was originally written for the boy voice, I want if performed by the boy voice. On another note, I don’t think that Lutherans used castrati in the church, so um ……

  • Joanne

    I’m so glad I have this all to myself, especially since I seem to be in a cascade of errors. That lovely Schutz duet I pointed you to above was actually a solo wasn’t it. And, you were just too kind to mention it. How Lutheran of you, and for that I’ve found the duet I did have half in mind, Schutz’s O bone jesu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Le3_5z7EJc
    It took me some time because I could only find little catholic boys singing it. When I buy recorded Lutheran church music, I insist that it be performed by Lutherans in a Lutheran church. How’s that for persnikety? And, if it was originally written for the boy voice, I want if performed by the boy voice. On another note, I don’t think that Lutherans used castrati in the church, so um ……

  • Joanne

    This last clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIcqJxFAXyI&feature=related brings us to modern art in the Lutheran Kreuzkirche in Dresden. It’s a concert of the Kreuzchor in the sanctuary of the 1760 Kreuzkirche building which replaced the building of Schutz era that was distroyed in the 7 Years War. It’s a classical design, but the interior was completly redesigned into the Jugendstil (Art Nouveau style) around 1900. Then in 1945, everything above the ground floor was bombed to breakfast cereal and replaced by Quickcrete (where’s the art in that).
    In this clip you can see much of the Jugendstil/Art Nouveau stone and plaster work behind the choir, especially Luther in a bas relief. Directly opposite across the sanctuary and out of sight is a bas relief of Heinrich Schutz, the patron of the choir to this day. The altar has a large copper plate that depicts the scene of the first protestant service ever held in the Kreuzkirche in ca. 1540. There were many Lutheran churches in Europe built in the Jugendstil which style today is highly admired. The cavernous recesses of the ceiling were crawling with water lilies but the bombs and quickcrete got all that. And, as Lutherans love, the 1900 altar stretched up to meet the ceiling vaults with columns and paintings and statues. You can see the whole Jugendstil altar here: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kreuzkirche_(Dresden)

  • Joanne

    This last clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIcqJxFAXyI&feature=related brings us to modern art in the Lutheran Kreuzkirche in Dresden. It’s a concert of the Kreuzchor in the sanctuary of the 1760 Kreuzkirche building which replaced the building of Schutz era that was distroyed in the 7 Years War. It’s a classical design, but the interior was completly redesigned into the Jugendstil (Art Nouveau style) around 1900. Then in 1945, everything above the ground floor was bombed to breakfast cereal and replaced by Quickcrete (where’s the art in that).
    In this clip you can see much of the Jugendstil/Art Nouveau stone and plaster work behind the choir, especially Luther in a bas relief. Directly opposite across the sanctuary and out of sight is a bas relief of Heinrich Schutz, the patron of the choir to this day. The altar has a large copper plate that depicts the scene of the first protestant service ever held in the Kreuzkirche in ca. 1540. There were many Lutheran churches in Europe built in the Jugendstil which style today is highly admired. The cavernous recesses of the ceiling were crawling with water lilies but the bombs and quickcrete got all that. And, as Lutherans love, the 1900 altar stretched up to meet the ceiling vaults with columns and paintings and statues. You can see the whole Jugendstil altar here: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kreuzkirche_(Dresden)

  • Joanne

    http://www.freiberger-dom.de/dom-stmarien/virtueller-rundgang/begraebniskapelle.html
    Ok, ok, absolute last link, I promise, but this is a duzzy,doozzy.
    Howz about taking a peek at the burial chapel of the Saxon Lutheran (1541-1694) princes in the Freiberger Dom. You’ll think you’re looking at the Medici chapel, only bigger with 9 Saxon princes buried there. After the Mauerfall, it has taken them forever to restore this chapel and you will know why as soon as you see it. Pictures of it are rare. (prove me wrong, please)

  • Joanne

    http://www.freiberger-dom.de/dom-stmarien/virtueller-rundgang/begraebniskapelle.html
    Ok, ok, absolute last link, I promise, but this is a duzzy,doozzy.
    Howz about taking a peek at the burial chapel of the Saxon Lutheran (1541-1694) princes in the Freiberger Dom. You’ll think you’re looking at the Medici chapel, only bigger with 9 Saxon princes buried there. After the Mauerfall, it has taken them forever to restore this chapel and you will know why as soon as you see it. Pictures of it are rare. (prove me wrong, please)


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