• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5857

    Old Master & British Pictures

    23 April 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 4

    Follower of Lucas Cranach II

    Charity

    Price Realised  

    Follower of Lucas Cranach II
    Charity
    oil on panel
    20½ x 13¾ in. (52.1 x 34.9 cm.)


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    The theme of Charity, as represented by a mother surrounded by children, was an oft-recurring motif for both Lucas Cranach I and his son Lucas the Younger. The iconography first appeared in Italy in the early 14th Century, possibly deriving from the Virgo lactans, a woman suckling two infants. By the end of the 16th Century it was prevalent throughout Europe. The present work has no known exact prototype, but the overall composition, which features a seated nude woman nursing an infant while three other children cling to her or gather around, exists in numerous variants.

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