Cranach and Luther – Companions of the Reformation
Erfurt lies in the best place. There must be a city, the great reformer Martin Luther once deemed, who studied theology in Erfurt and later became acquainted with Cranach in Wittenberg.
Along with the production of numerous portraits of Luther, Cranach himself developed into an important painter of the German Reformation. He illustrated several reformatory scriptures with his graphic artwork.
Today Erfurt has an impressive purse of unique Cranach paintings: the panel painting “Die Verlobung der Heiligen Katharina” from Lucas Cranach the Elder with Heilige Katharina and Barbara probably originated around 1520 belongs to the most precious works of art. This is in the northern aisle of St. Marien cathedral and was first integrated into a baroque altar in 1948.
There are twelve works in the Angermuseum that are assocciated predominantly with the workshop of Cranach the Elder, Cranach the Younger or their area. “Lasset die Kindlein zu mir kommen” (Suffer the little children to come upon me) belongs to the most important works. The painting originated around 1537 and is signed with the typical snake sign. This painting and two others are exhibit at the moment.
But Erfurt is not only worth a visit due to Cranach treasures: The Thuringian state capital coined as one of the best-kept medieval town centers of Germany. The impressive church ensemble of St. Marien Cathedral and Severikirche as well as the Krämerbrücke, the longest bridge of Europe with constructed houses, form the landmarks of the city.
The Protestant Augustinian Monastery, in which Martin Luther lived five years as monk, ranks today among the most important Luther sites of Germany.