Arts & Culture

Cupid complaining to Venus

Lucas Cranach the Elderabout 1525

The National Gallery, London
The National Gallery, London

Cupid complains to Venus of being stung by bees when stealing a honeycomb. This is to be taken as a moral commentary; as the inscription observes: 'life's pleasure is mixed with pain.'

The subject derives (but the last two lines of the inscription do not) from Theocritus' 'Idyll' 19 (The Honeycomb Stealer). Two Latin translations of 1522 and 1528 by German scholars are known. Johann Hess, a humanist, made, in his copy of one of them, the manuscript note 'Tabella Luce', which means 'Picture by Lucus', perhaps referring to this work by Cranach.

Mais informações

Detalhes

  • Título: Cupid complaining to Venus
  • Criador: Lucas Cranach the Elder
  • Data de criação: about 1525
  • School: German
  • More Info: More Artist Information
  • Inventory number: NG6344
  • Dimensões físicas: w546 x h813 cm
  • Artist Biography: Cranach was one of the leading German painters and printmakers of the early 16th century. As court painter of the Elector of Saxony, the patron of Luther, Cranach is remembered as the chief artist of the Reformation. He painted altarpieces, Lutheran subject pictures and portraits, as well as mythological decorative works and nudes, such as the 'Cupid complaining to Venus' in the Collection. Cranach was named after his native town of Kronach in Upper Franconia. He was probably trained there by his father, Hans. Around 1500 or earlier he travelled through Bavaria to Vienna, where he was briefly active. Early works exemplify the Danube school (see also Altdorfer) in their poetic use of landscape. In 1505 he entered the service of the Electors of Saxony at Wittenberg, becoming a town councillor there in 1519 and burgomaster in 1537 and 1540. In 1550 he was with the Elector John Frederick who was held prisoner in Augsburg. He retired in 1552 to Weimar, leaving his sons, Hans and Lucas the Younger, to carry on his workshop.
  • Acquisition Credit: Bought, 1963
  • Tipo: Painting
  • Link externo: The National Gallery, London
  • Meio: Oil on wood

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