Apollo and Diana by Lucas Cranach the Elder, c.1526
The Northern Renaissance: Dürer to Holbein

Art in the Holy Roman Empire

Under the Emperor Maximilian I (ruled 1493 – 1519) art flourished. The success of Dürer, who lived and worked in the south of the Empire, influenced a generation of artists, including Hans Baldung Grien and Hans Schäufelein, from Dürer’s workshop. The Swiss city of Basel was another centre of production: Hans Holbein the Younger worked as a painter and as a book illustrator for the publisher Johannes Froben, while Urs Graf produced idiosyncratic prints and drawings and ran the city mint.

The Reformation was felt most strongly in the Empire. It was in Wittenberg, under the protection of Frederick the Wise, that Martin Luther first questioned the basis of the established faith, launching a debate across Europe. At Frederick’s court, Lucas Cranach the Elder painted mythological and historical subjects. Cranach’s elegant nudes and detailed exploration of northern landscape motifs proved popular enough for his workshop to produce numerous versions of such subjects as Lucretia and The Judgement of Paris.

A head of a man wearing a turban
Martin Schongauer (c. 1448-91)
Portrait of a Young Man with a Rosary
Hans Baldung Grien (1484/5-1545)
Dated 1509
St Conrad
Hans Baldung Grien (1484/5-1545)
St Paul
Hans Schäufelein (1482/3-c. 1540)
Melchior Pfintzing (1481-1535)
Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)
Georg Pencz (c. 1500-50)
Signed and dated 1537
Apollo and Diana
Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553)
circa 1526
The Judgement of Paris
Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553)
circa 1530-35
Portrait of a Man
Hans Brosamer (c. 1506-54)
c. 1522-27
Portrait of a Woman
Hans Brosamer (c. 1506-54)
c. 1522-27
The Crucifixion
Augustin Hirschvogel (1503-53)
dated 1533
St George and the Dragon
Erhard Altdorfer (1512-61)