Cranach altar in Weimar.
[GERMANY.THUERINGEN 30434] The winged altar in the Herderkirche (Stadtkirche St. Peter und Paul) in Weimar was painted by Lucas Cranach der Jüngere from 1552 till 1555. The theory that it was begun by his father Lucas Cranach der Ältere (1472-1553) in the last year of his life seems to be incorrect.
The central panel shows the crucified Christ with the Lamb of God. On the left Jesus is again portrayed as the resurrected slayer of death (in the form of a skeleton) and the devil. In the distance (beside the crucified feet) we see the same devil and death while they are chasing Adam out of paradise. On the right we see Luther (with bible) and his friend Lucas Cranach der Ältere in the company of John the Baptist, who is pointing towards the cross. A spout of blood emerging from Christ's side is aimed at the head of Cranach, symbolizing that only through Jesus a sinful man can obtain redemption.
The panel on the left shows Johann Friedrich I der Grossmütige von Sachsen (and his wife) who was a close follower of Luther and Head of the Protestant Confederation of Germany (the Schmalkaldic League). The panel on the right show his children.
Between 1518 and 1540 Weimar was frequently visited by Luther who preached on these occasions in the Herderkirche. Photo Mick Palarczyk.